The large water wheel behind the main building turns the gears that turn the grinding stone at Bale Grist Mill.

Michele Luna, executive director of Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, posted a link in the comments section to the organization’s web site, which is a great source of information about the proposed park closures. I’ve added the link here so that it is easier to find. There is a “Take Action” link to the California State Park’s Foundation, something I find tremendously helpful. There are few things as dismal as feeling impotent about something this important. There is also a link to donate to the Stewards’ Save our State Parks fund. Imagine what would happen if everyone in California gave just one dollar.

Several weeks ago, I featured Bale Grist Mill, located in Calistoga, in Seasonal Pantry. My heart sunk as I read today’s news that this historic treasure is on the list of parks scheduled to be closed. Of course, my heart sunk as each park on the list came into focus. But because I believe that the more we know the more we care, I’m posting a link to the column, which you can find here. Visualizing what will actually be lost is more effective and motivating, I think, than simply reading a name. Check out the column and if you have a minute, take the drive to Calistoga and visit this beautiful place. You have to go on a weekend because the hours are now limited to Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not so long ago, Bale Grist Mill was open daily. Be sure to pick up some of their delicious grains while you are there.

Volunteers have been planning a series of candlelight dinners at the mill this summer. As soon as I can find out the status of the dinners I will post the information here.

The miller and a guest mill the corn that will soon be ground into polenta.

It seems to me now might be a good time to let our elected officials how you feel about losing access to our history and our cultural heritage.