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Pumpkin pickin’

Cold mornings and cloud-filled skies mark the changing of the seasons – and the busy harvest time for area farms.

Looking for an autumn-themed event? A number of pumpkin patches, harvest festivals, fall plant sales and other celebrations are scheduled for the month of October. Here are a few:

• Master Gardener’s Fall Plant Sale: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, including a demonstration garden, at the Nevada Irrigation District, 1036 W. Main Street, Grass Valley; 273-0919.



• Bierwagen’s Donner Trail Fruit 17th Annual Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays throughout October. Offering pumpkins, apples, fresh-pressed apple juice, farm animals and animal demonstrations, a corn maze, play area, craft fair and more. It’s at 17437 Lower Colfax Road, Chicago Park; visit at http://www.bierwagens.com or call 477-5992.

• Loma Rica Ranch Organic Farm Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Patch: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 13. Offering local and organic food, micro-brews and local wine, live music with local bands, a hay fort, corn maze, haunted house, wagon rides, games and crafts. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and children 11-17; children under 10 are free. It’s at 10980 Brunswick Road, Grass Valley; visit http://www.lomaricaranch.com or call 274-9059.




• Oktoberfest at the Community Senior Center: 5 p.m. Oct. 13. Joe Smiell and his Bavarian Band will perform lively dance music; the fest will include German folk dancing and raffle prizes. A German dinner, beer and wine, cake and coffee will be available for sale. It’s at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11350 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley. Cost is $10 at the door. To order tickets, call 272-6095, 272-3044 or 477-2205.

• Nevada City Winery Basketful Of Gold harvest celebration: noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 13 and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 14. The winery celebrates 27 years of winemaking. Free and open to the public, at 321 Spring St., downtown Nevada City. Visit online at http://www.ncwinery.com or call 265-9463.

• BriarPatch Co-op Community Market Harvest Fair: noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 14, with live music, a pie bake-off, children’s activities, food samples, farmers market and silent auction. Free admission, at the store parking lot, 290 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley. (Park across the street at the soccer field.) For more information, call 272-5333.

• “Back to the Farm,” Placer County’s Fourth Annual Farm and Barn Tour: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 14. Celebrating the county’s agricultural heritage by featuring more than a dozen working farms, ranches, wineries, nurseries and a historical museum. Cost is $10 for adults. Children and students are free.

For more information, visit http://www.placerfarmandbarnfestival.com or call 885-5670 or 530-889-7336.

• Second Annual Sierra Nevada Small Farm Progress Days: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 19, with demonstrations of new tractor-powered and horse-drawn farm and logging equipment, workshops on a variety of farming, ranching and forestry topics and a trade show. Hosted by the Nevada County Land Trust at Loma Rica Ranch Organic Farm, 10980 Brunswick Road, Grass Valley. Cost is $5; for more information, call Dan Macon at 305-3270.

• North Columbia Autumn Shindig: 11 a.m. to dusk Oct. 21. An old-time harvest fair at the historic, one-room schoolhouse, with bluegrass music, cow milking contests, crafts, local farmers market, homemade tamales, carnival booths and free admission. It’s at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, 17894 Tyler Foote Crossing Road, north of Nevada City. For more information, call 265-2826 or 530-265-8141.

If you know of an event that wasn’t listed, please contact us for future publication.

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To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion.com or call 477-4231.


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