“Look!” they’re bound to shout. “A giant dinosaur!”
Or maybe they'll shout, "A giraffe!"
The lineup changes from time to time, but typically you'll notice a 10-foot-tall metal dinosaur, or a 12-foot-tall metal giraffe. Or maybe both. Or something equally large and eye-catching.
But it’s really the compelling swath of ultra-bright color in Swede’s ample front yard that causes you to slow down and pull in for a closer look. When you do, you’ll probably decide that you’ve landed in the kind of place you just won’t find anywhere else. You’re right.
Emerging from the car, you’ll be confronted by hundreds of folk art pieces hand-made from recycled metal such as oil barrels, signs, machinery gears, and more. The art pieces are all arranged in happy family groups.
There are blazing-pink flamingoes, multi-colored peacocks, man-sized roosters, frisky squirrels, sturdy-looking butterflies, and lots of other critters. Lined up beyond on outdoor shelving, or hanging on garden hooks here and there, are multi-story bird houses and feeders made in the same colorful, welded-metal style.
But there’s a lot more to see here. There are beautiful artisan wine racks, chairs, and tables crafted from wine barrel staves; chimineas to warm the patio on cool nights; an eclectic collection of CDs; and great-looking flower pots.
There is also a popular assortment of hand-made, recycled redwood chicken coops, and a recycled redwood line of bluebird, bat, owl, and other avian-specific boxes. Locals also come here to buy gardening supplies, seasonal plant starts, bird seed, chicken feed, and high-end pet food.
As for the kids, they’ll love the Swede’s Feeds animals, which include a pygmy goat, lots of chickens of all different types and colors, cats, and a dog.
No wonder Swede’s motto is “Everything under the sun.”
Swede’s Feeds, 9140 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood; 707-833-5050. Hours: Monday, Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Tuesday.