Turnips Top Off 3 Tons of Vegetables to our Schools!

salad turnipsAs all you parents and students know, the end of school is right around the corner…and along with events like open houses, finals, recitals, sports awards and yearbooks comes the closing of another part of school, and that’s the tasty part. That’s right, this school year’s Harvest of the Month (HOTM) program is wrapping up, and what better way to say goodbye for the summer than with a turnip? Yes, nothing says hello summer like a salad turnip. You think I’m kidding, but bite into one of these succulent beauties and you’ll remember that summer is the best time for cool, raw vegetables, and they even help out maintaining a good looking swimsuit bod! So spice up that crudité platter with a salad turnip, a local farm favorite. More about the tremendous turnip later, like a final that needs completing, we’ve got to share the HOTM yearbook with you and remember all the tastes of 2014-15 school year. Continue reading “Turnips Top Off 3 Tons of Vegetables to our Schools!”

Sierra Gardens Program Growing in Nevada County, with Room for More!

A new beginning for 2015 Sierra Gardens participant Mistie and her family.
A new beginning for 2015 Sierra Gardens participant Mistie and her family.

Sierra Harvest’s Sierra Gardens program is entering its second year of building backyard gardens and providing classes, mentoring, and supplies to families who want to learn how to grow their own fruits and vegetables. This year Farmer Leo Chapman expects to support 30 gardens for people who either are learning gardening skills or who can’t afford to create a full garden infrastructure. This is almost a third more than last year, and there is still room for more gardens in the program this year! Families aren’t the only ones learning about growing food in Nevada County – Leo learns something from every garden he puts in: “I’ve really enjoyed being all over the county and seeing how things grow differently in all of the micro climates.” Continue reading “Sierra Gardens Program Growing in Nevada County, with Room for More!”

Celebrity Vegetable Visits Nevada County Schools

“Leafy green, dark and lean.”
If you love it or hate it, you’ve heard of it and there’s a reason why.
Long ago, Thomas Jefferson grew it at home at Monticello, and more recently Beyonce wore a sweatshirt repping its name in a music video.   Clever moms sneak it into smoothies and make it into chips.  It even has its own day (October 1st).

curlykaleIt ain’t taters.
Thanks to Sierra Harvest, 6,000 local students can tell you exactly what it is thanks to April’s Harvest of the month.
It’s kale of course!

This month, students tasted three different varieties of organic baby kale from Riverdog Farm, out of Guinda, CA.  Local food aficionados may already be familiar with Riverdog, as they are the supplier for Mountain Bounty Farm’s winter CSA share.  Located in the fertile Capay valley, partners Tim Mueller and Trini Campbell, along with their daughter and 50 full time employees, keep the farm going year-round. Continue reading “Celebrity Vegetable Visits Nevada County Schools”

Meet the New Faces of Sierra Harvest!

Clockwise: Rachel, Miriam, Jessica, Brianna. Welcome, ladies!
Clockwise: Rachel, Miriam, Jessica, Brianna. Welcome, ladies!

Four amazing women who are all passionate about food in different ways joined Sierra Harvest recently, and we want you to meet them!

Brianna Abundiz and Jessica Gimpel will be serving as interns at the Food Love Project farm this season, and Rachel Berry and Miriam Limov have taken the helm as engagement managers for Sierra Harvest’s communications and outreach.

Meet Fabulous Food Love Interns Brianna and Jessica

SH: Why did you want to be an intern at Sierra Harvest?

Jessica: My head is exploding with reasons. When I saw the Food Love Project internship I got really excited because I wanted to find a place to learn how to grow food where I could integrate education and working with kids with healthy eating. It brings all of my interests together.

Brianna: I am a mother of five and there is a garden cart in each of my kid’s schools so I was familiar with Sierra Harvest. When I saw the email about the internship it just called out to me. Continue reading “Meet the New Faces of Sierra Harvest!”

Grow Your Own Food at Home – Sierra Harvest Can Help!

DSC03529If you’ve always wanted to grow your own vegetables, but haven’t known where to start, or if you have tried planting a garden but not gotten the results you were hoping for, then the Sierra Gardens program is for you! Imagine picking ingredients for a fresh, healthy dinner from your own backyard – better for your body, and easier on your wallet. Plus, gardening is good for your soul…just ask Leo Chapman, who heads Sierra Harvest’s Sierra Gardens program. “It’s been great to see how successful people can be when we provide them with the infrastructure, the plants at the appropriate times and the mentor ship.” Continue reading “Grow Your Own Food at Home – Sierra Harvest Can Help!”

Harvest of the Month: Dried Plums AKA Prunes

by Amanda Thibodeau

PrintIt’s February, the month of love, Mardi Gras and 70-degree days, and with this weather, its hard to remember that we are still in the middle of winter.  Despite the temperature, it is still winter (just ask the folks living in Boston!), and winter is an excellent time to enjoy preserved foods from the summer bounty.  These foods bring us back to the height of summer abundance in a time of year when local food is scarce at best.  Canned tomatoes, dilly beans, homemade jams, sauerkraut, dried fruit…there are so many ways to enjoy the taste and nutrition of the summer and fall in this, the shortest month of the year. Continue reading “Harvest of the Month: Dried Plums AKA Prunes”

Kids and Staff are Eating Up Grizzly Hill’s New Salad Bar!

20150129_121817Grizzly Hill Elementary school in North San Juan broke new ground a few years ago when they pushed for organic food in their school meals. Now, they are providing a salad bar three to four days a week, and the kids (and parents) are eating it up. Erika Triligia, a Grizzly Hill parent, appreciates the reduction in food waste: “They get to pick what they want, so they don’t throw it away.” Student Starlight Makonen, a vegetarian, agrees: “You get to pick what you want to eat.  I love that!” Continue reading “Kids and Staff are Eating Up Grizzly Hill’s New Salad Bar!”

Converting Kids to Fresh Food at the School of the Arts

dreAn Interview with Dre Maher, Farm to School Liaison at the Nevada City School of the Arts

What do you do as the Farm to School Liaison for Sierra Harvest?

I introduce fresh, local produce to children and their families in a few different ways. One of my favorite things is the garden cart, which was donated by Sierra Harvest. We get CSA shares from John Tecklin at Mountain Bounty for the cart and it is out twice a week at NCSA.  Some families also grow things for the cart – things people have never seen before like unusual herbs. Continue reading “Converting Kids to Fresh Food at the School of the Arts”

Nevada Union Cafeteria Plans to Pilot “Meatless Monday”

meatless_monday_logo_336x180-1Bolstered by the success of the new salad bar at Nevada Union, NU Food Service is piloting “Meatless Mondays” in February, with encouragement from NU’s Eco Club (ECONU). Joy Castro-Wehr, NU Eco Club member (and Sierra Harvest Board Student Representative) explains why she wanted the largest school in the Nevada Joint Union High School district to consider such a big change: “We just think that removing one item from the menu once a week (especially an item which has such a huge environmental footprint) opens up the door of discussion with the student body about exciting ways to be healthier and eat cleaner. It’s not a bunch of radical vegans trying to get everyone to stop eating meat – -the underlying motive  is educating people about where their food comes from.” Continue reading “Nevada Union Cafeteria Plans to Pilot “Meatless Monday””

Harvest of the Month: Mandarins

Printby Amanda Thibodeau

Doesn’t citrus seem like a winter miracle?  Seriously.  In this time of diminished light, frozen ground and frankly not a lot of local produce, fruits such as lemons, mandarins, and oranges bring vitamin C and bright flavors to our palettes.

Have you had a chance to check out some of the seasonal varieties that are available now?  Tart grapefruits, dark and mysterious blood oranges, perfect pink cara caras, classic navels, juicy tangelos, fragrant meyer lemons…the list goes on. Continue reading “Harvest of the Month: Mandarins”