“Little Kale Gardens Everywhere” at Higareda Farm Feed Thousands of Students

“We have little kale gardens everywhere” says Sandra from Higareda Family Farm.  This certified organic dino kale, growing along the contours of her Browns Valley farm, were gobbled up by thousands of Nevada County school students during February’s Harvest of the Month.


Higareda Family Farm

While Higareda Family Farm is a relatively new business, the family has been farming “since the beginning of time!” Her husband Paco Higareda, originally from Michoacan, Mexico, is from a long line of hard working farmers, passing down many techniques and skills through the generations.  “Sierra Harvest and BriarPatch Food Co-op have both been a really big help to us” says Sandra, a graduate of the Sierra Harvest Farm Biz and Organic Certification classes.  “We’ve been working so hard all along, farming out of love, and now we have someone to give us the tools to help make it a business where we can make money and live off our land.”

But it’s not always easy, and every year brings new challenges and lessons learned.  For example, less winter rain now means uncertain access to water this summer.   “I have thousands of seeds to plant for this season, but I just don’t know if I’m going to have the water to grow them.”  To help protect their business against shortfalls in produce, the farm plans to expanding their egg production and recently bought some pigs to help diversify income sources. “Every year we learn new lessons!”.

Bringing Kale into the Schools

Six thousand dino kale leaves (!) from Higareda Family Farm were delivered to our Nevada County Schools this month.  For kids attending class in-person, this fresh dino kale made it directly into their hands for a taste test.  In addition, school meals crafted by Grass Valley Child Nutrition Services and Nevada City School of the Arts (NCSA) will also incorporate this delicious kale into school lunches, available on campus and also for pick-up for distance learners.  “This kale was amazing because it was so fresh and young, it was the perfect size and flavor for school food”, says Dre Maher, Food Program Director at NCSA. “I made it into kale chips kale pesto for school lunches.”

Dre shows off the Higareda kale she received for NCSA school lunches

“I love that we can grow food for the schools!” says Sandra. This is the second time Higareda Family Farm has supplied fresh, organic food for the Harvest of the Month Program.  “Through connections at Sierra Harvest, we’ve also had the privilege of selling to the hospital, and that made me feel really good.”

Look for Higareda Family Farm products at BriarPatch Food Coop! Their farm products have also been featured locally at SPD Markets, Emily’s Catering and South Pine Café.