Have you stopped by Sierra Harvest’s friendly farmer’s market booth at the Saturday morning Nevada City Farmer’s Market? Ever wonder where all that beautiful produce comes from and who grows it?
In addition to getting the word out about Sierra Harvest, the main purpose of the booth is to educate our interns about how the market works and to give them hands-on training with a production style garden. Early in the season, Katie Turner, Farm Manager for the market garden and the Food Love Project, plans what to grow and when it will be ready. Katie and the interns, Brie Gerard and Gracie Schatz, start the plants, prep the beds, maintain the garden, harvest, and work the market, which entails getting up really early on Saturday mornings to harvest, wash, and transport the goods to market.
Most of the produce comes from the Lost Hill farm site on American Hill Road, which is a small homestead where Sierra Harvest’s interns live, only a few blocks from the Farmer’s Market. The site has been used as a garden and homestead for a long time, and it features many heirloom fruit trees, including chestnut, walnut, almond, fig, and apple trees. Look for figs and apples from these heirloom trees at the market in the late Summer and early Fall. The new fruit trees at the site (cherries, nectarines, plums, pears, and more apples) will take a few years to produce. All of the produce from Lost Hill is certified organic by CCOF.
In August at the Sierra Harvest booth, you’ll be able to pick up Padron and Shishito peppers (the former is a traditional tapas menu item in Spain, excellent pan fried with olive oil and sprinkled with salt). You’ll also find beautiful heirloom tomatoes in all different colors — purple, red, orange, yellow, and green. We’ll still have arugula, cucumbers, head lettuce, and micro greens (from the Food Love Project Farm), a super food that has a high density of cancer-fighting nutrients. And, we will be featuring dried flower bouquets to brighten your house in the winter months. Fresh sunflowers will also be available.
Katie enjoys working the Nevada City Farmers’ Market, despite the early morning and hard work: “It’s such a nice, community-oriented activity, and it’s great seeing the happy people who eat the vegetables that we have so lovingly grown.” So stop by and say hello to Katie, Brie, and Gracie this Saturday morning between 8:30am and 1:00pm (and check out those Padron peppers while you’re there!).