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Sierra Harvest: Taste the difference local makes

By Amanda Thibodeau
Special to The Union


It’s time for local produce! June begins an amazing bounty of food in the foothills, and we are lucky to live in a thriving farming community. Farmers here have been working through wild spring weather with highs in the nineties and lows in the twenties! It’s been quite a spring to be a grower. Added to the unpredictable nature of the weather, we have drought, labor shortages, and the threat of wildfires … it’s amazing that anyone farms! Our farmers persevere and grow amazing, high-quality food for this community. If you want to get more in touch with where your food is coming from, read on for ways to get connected!

Join a Farm Tour

Join a Sierra Harvest Farm Tour to meet local growers and visit their farms. New this year, there are some daytime tours for buyers from grocery stores, restaurants and institutions to make new connections with local farmers. Daytime tours include Starbright Acres Family Farm on Tuesday, June 14, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Feeding Crane Farm on Tuesday, July 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Mountain Bounty Farm on Tuesday, August 16, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tickets are sliding scale $5-10 and kids can attend for free!

Shop the Farmers’ Markets


Nevada City Farmer’s Market (Summer Market: May 1-Dec. 18) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Union Street, Downtown Nevada City.

Grass Valley (April 17-Nov. 20). Raley’s Pine Creek Shopping Center near JC Penney, Freeman Lane from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Truckee (June-September) at Truckee Railyard Parking Lot, from 8 a.m. to noon.


Truckee (May-Oct.) at 10500 Brockway Rd. from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grass Valley (April 20-Sept. 28) at Raley’s Pine Creek Center near Jamba Juice, Freeman Lane from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Penn Valley (year-round) at Western Gateway Park, winter: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., summer: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grass Valley (May 6 – Aug. 26) on Mill Street, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. *Special hours June 24-July 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

This is a weekly subscription box where you get a selection of fresh veggies and other products.

Mountain Bounty CSA

The largest and oldest CSA in our area, their “year-round CSA offers a variety of exceptional local and organic produce, delivered to your neighborhood! Our vegetable shares come in two convenient sizes, with flexible billing options, and unlimited vacation holds. We offer seasonal fruit, flower, and mushroom shares from our Farm Partners.”

Starbright Acres Family Farm CSA

Offers a 20-week summer share from June-October.

First Rain Farm CSA

This year, 2022, First Rain is excited to be collaborating with Chapman Family Farm and Bluebird Farm to provide 60 CSA boxes for our community. 22-week season June 1-Oct. 26. Space is limited.

Shop on the Farm or Join a Class

We also have plenty of local farms offering farm stands and upicks! As the summer season gets into full swing, check out the Nevada County Food and Farm Directory for more information about purchasing directly from growers.

Or, if you want to learn more about farming yourself, check out Sierra Harvest’s Ag Skills classes, running all season through August. Ag Skills provides a season of hands-on learning for beginning farmers. From building soil to harvest and packing, each class focuses on tangible skills necessary for farming success in the foothills.  Peer-to-peer classes are taught on-farm, by farmers and each includes a farm tour.   Ag Skills courses are geared towards commercial farmers and are a great way to network within the farming community and hone your farming skillset.  Live interpretation is now available for monolingual Spanish speakers!

Classes are Tuesdays 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. from May 17 to Aug. 23, $18 – $22 per class. Scholarships available, BIPOC, LGBTQI+, veteran, women farmers and farmer workers encouraged to apply.

For more information or to get involved, sign up online on the Food Policy Council website page at: http://www.sierraharvest.org/connect/food-policy-council/. Look for this continued series which is informed by the Nevada County Food Policy council’s recent food system assessment every month.  Read the Food System Assessment here: http://www.sierraharvest.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FSA-2020_011121.pdf

Amanda Thibodeau is with the Nevada County Food Policy Council

It’s time for local produce. June begins an amazing bounty of food in the foothills, and we are lucky to live in a thriving farming community.
Provided photo
Farm to Table

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