Monday, May 11, 2015

Five Things I Didn't Know about Ukiah

1. In 1859, when the state legislature created Mendocino County, Ukiah was chosen as the county seat. The name comes from the word for "south valley" used by the local indigenous people, the Pomo. Ukiah is the largest city and commercial center for the county. According the the 2010 US census, 16,075 people lived in Ukiah proper, but because many people commute into the city from nearby smaller communities, about 40,000 people work within the city limits (or in the business and residential neighborhoods north and south of the community).
2. Ukiah's average rainfall is 36.96 inches per year, and it snows there about once every other year. The hottest month is generally July, with an average high temperature of 90.5 degrees Fahrenheit (with night time low temperatures in the mid-fifties; the coolest month is usually December, with highs averaging 55.6 degrees and lows in the mid thirties.
3. In 1996, it was ranked the best small town to live in in California, and the sixth best place to live in the US, Two Pomo tribes have their headquarters there.

4. Hops and pears were once major crops in the area, but now Ukiah is known more for wine production, a number of the wineries making innovations in organic and sustainable growing and production practices. However, the area is still home to two breweries and non-wine grape growing. Other agriculture (much of it organic) and lumber are also important products.

5. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, graduated from Ukiah High School, where he started the school's first Christian club. Just east of Ukiah is the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist communities in the Western Hemisphere, and north of town is a monastery in the Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism.
 -- Mindy