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Pineapple, Peanut Butter or Tomatoes?  You decide.

Local Ground Cherries kick off Harvest of the Month

The leaves are starting to turn, there’s a crispness to the air…the school year is well underway and farm to school is in full swing.  Now serving 32 schools all over western Nevada County, Sierra Harvest’s farm to school program is entering its 10th school year! 

One of the most popular parts of farm to school is the Harvest of the Month program (and with good reason).  For many years now, students have been trying a diverse array of local, organic and seasonal produce each month in their classroom- and this year is no different!

In fact, the 2018 school year has kicked off with one of the weirdest tastes yet, the ground cherry.  Unfamiliar with ground cherries?  You’re not alone.   

Ground cherries taste different to everyone.  Some people say they taste like nuts, others say pineapple, tomatoes and peanut butter…even Hawaiian pizza!  These seasonal treats are seldom seen in the grocery store, and are a farmer’s market favorite.

Protected in their own little wrappers, these tiny “garden candies” are a perfectly yummy start to the school year.  Local growers Starbright Acres Family Farm and The Posh Squash provided over 18,000 pieces to be sampled throughout the county. 

Ground cherries are not really cherries, but a relative of tomatillos, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.  They grow on low vining plants that drop their fruit on the ground when ripe (hence the name).

When sourcing enough produce to serve over 7,400 students, it can be difficult to work with smaller growers because of the vast quantity of food required to meet the needs of the program.  Sometimes, it can be thousands of pounds!  Often, Sierra Harvest needs to work with bigger farms to meet the demand for Harvest of the Month.  Not this month though!  Both of the farms that provided ground cherries are small, family operations who work directly with local students in a number of ways.   In fact, both farms are run by women who are also “farm to school liaisons” with Sierra Harvest.  That means, in addition to growing the food, they are the ones working directly with the schools to make sure each student gets a taste test.  Go ladies!

                    Starbright Acres Family Farm

Starbright Acres Family Farm is a certified organic farm run by Ken and Aleta Barrett (with help from their kids, Xea and Sam).  They produce nutritious, delicious, planet-friendly food for our local community and sell directly at the Nevada City Farmer’s market, the Nevada County Certified Growers Markets, and at their farm stand.  They host many school field trips each year as a Sierra Harvest farm partner; where kids love to pet the goats, help with the harvest and see a thriving home scale farm in action!  They separate the dirt and debris from the ground cherries using their own “GC Separator” that our daughter Xea built as her 8th grade STEAM project.

Brianna Abundiz, Posh Squash Farm

The Posh Squash:  If you have kids that have been out to the Food Love Farm, or who go to Scotten or Lyman Gilmore- chances are they know “Farmer Bri.” (aka Brianna Abundiz).  This powerhouse mother of five got into farming 4 years ago and can’t be stopped!  Her energy for sharing her love of farming and food is contagious.  After working with many local farmers, this year she started her own venture at Bluebird Farm where she grows mostly winter squash, pumpkins and ground cherries. You can get your holiday pumpkins from her (and her kids) at the Nevada City farmers market from October through Thanksgiving- a portion of proceeds support the Farm to School Program at Scotten and Lyman Gilmore schools.

Farm Biz registration now open!

Paul Glowaski and Sandra Higareda Family Farm - Organic Intensive Course 2018
                                                 Paul Glowaski and Sandra Higareda Family Farm                                                                                                        Organic Intensive Course 2018

Are you looking for a business planning class designed specifically for farmers?  Take this short quiz to find out if our Farm Biz program is right for you:

  • Are you in your first few years of farming?
  • Do you want to find out how much your farm needs to earn in order to pay you a living wage?
  • Do you need support deciding what to grow next year, how much yield you can expect and what you can earn from your crops?
  • Are you excited to connect with other local farmers while learning business management in a supportive, group setting?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then Farm Biz is a good match for you!  Learn more about the class and register today!

Here’s what last year’s farmers said about Farm Biz:

“It helps to build a solid foundation for financial planning.”                      

“Great tools for knowing your numbers; really grounded in making your farm pay you.  Great group to learn with and from.”

“It is such a fabulous resource tool to understand how to project efficient crop production and understand marketing.”

“It is great information to have BEFORE starting up a farm business.”

What NRCD Can Do For You!

Farm Day 2017

Article submitted by Sabrina Nicholson, Nevada County Resource Conservation District, District Manager

Does your property seem healthy to you?  Are you worried about wildfire?  (If you live in California you SHOULD be worried about wildfire.)  Would you like to know if your property will accommodate an orchard or small farm enterprise?  Is your pond full of algae and weeds?  Are star thistle or blackberries running rampant through your property?  Need to know what to do with all of that animal manure?  Well, the Nevada County Resource Conservation District (NCRCD) is here to help you with all of those questions and many more.

We offer science-based advice to Nevada and western Sierra County landowners; programs and tools to aid you in the successful management of your property; suggest local seminars for you to attend; offer links to great information; and can provide you with contact information of local professionals because sometimes reading about the solution just isn’t enough – sometimes you need a little help with the work.

Right now our most popular program is the Advisory Visit Program.  It connects you with our consultant (a local expert with 37 years experience in the conservation field) who will visit your property with you and provide personalized advice on the issues you’re encountering.  After your visit, we will mail you a hard-copy summarization of your visit along with detailed documents on the topics you discussed.

We have great planning tools online, like soil surveys, and other information that can help you determine if your property can accommodate your planned uses.  If you need manure or compost for your garden or pasture, or have too much manure and need to get rid of the excess, check-out our Manure Exchange Program!  There you can sign up to give away your excess manure or contact someone who has what you need.  We also have a tool loan program where you can borrow hand tools like a soil sampler, weed wrench, pond rake, and a seed spreader.

We strongly believe in the value of grazing to reduce fire hazard and to promote and maintain plant and wildlife diversity, so we offer a Minimum-Till Drill for rent.  The Min-Till Drill is a 6-foot-wide piece of farm equipment designed to be towed behind a tractor and get into places big drills simply can’t.  Soil disturbance is minimal with this implement that creates a seedbed, applies seed, and firms the seed into the soil all in one pass – saving time and money.  It helps control noxious weeds (such as star thistle), decreases soil erosion, and conserves water for easier plant establishment.

The NCRCD offers seminars and workshops throughout the year on natural resource and conservation topics important to local landowners; sponsors educational events (Nevada County Ag in the Classroom’s Annual Farm Day and CalPac SRM’s Range Camp); and partners with a wide variety of organizations on agriculture and natural resource conservation outreach events (Nevada County Ag Tour).

We’re here to help you with all your land management needs.  For more information check out the website, stop by at 113 Presley Way, Suite 1, Grass Valley or call (530) 272-3417.

The Nevada County Resource Conservation District was founded January 4, 1944 with a mission to promote responsible resource management.  We are a state mandated ‘Special District’ that is neither a regulatory group nor a city/county entity.  We are a “Not-For-Profit” entity, as described under California Public Resources Code – Division Nine and Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.  We receive a small percentage of revenue from property taxes of Nevada County residents.  The NCRCD is governed by a five-member board of directors who are appointed by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and made up of local landowners who provide input for local resource management.

NRCD supporting farmers and ranchers with programs

We Dig Our Volunteers!

2018 - Volunteer Crew of the Year - Renata LangisThe Sierra Harvest staff and board believe that our volunteers are the cream of the crop and we most certainly dig them!  We immensely appreciate our 347 volunteers who donated almost 4,000 volunteer hours in the past year – their passion and enthusiasm for serving 40 gallons of soup at an event, picking more than 1,100 pounds of fruit to donate to a local food bank, teaching a messy and hands-on lesson to hundreds of students trying massaged kale salad for the first time, or entering countless survey responses from children tasting kumquats all adds up to thriving nutrition and educational programs serving Nevada County families! Children ask for new veggies at the store when shopping with parents, families eat fresh vegetables grown in their own backyards and hundreds of Nevada County residents meet a local farmer in person and purchase directly from them – all because of these dedicated and passionate volunteers contributing their skills, time and enthusiasm!

We celebrated the volunteers at our annual Farm Potluck and Volunteer Appreciation party last Thursday amidst towering sunflowers, tomato plants drooped heavy with fruit, clucking chickens at the Food Love Farm, our educational farm serving more than 2,000 students annually. Heather MacAdam volunteered her time to share her exquisite music, guests enjoyed a farm tour and a feast of seasonal foods and we shared our gratitude to the volunteers.  The celebration culminated with a creatively rewritten rendition of Snow White’s Heigh Ho song as staff marched in with hard hats, picks, shovels, and other gardening implements to honor our 2018 Volunteer Crew of the Year:  Steve Danner, Larry Diminyatz, Suzanna Elkin, Christian Gutt, and Matt Marquet.

Off to the garden they go!

This volunteer crew builds gardens from barren soil for homeowners (often lower income) on an almost weekly basis so families can enjoy fresh produce grown in their own backyards.  Their Sierra Garden not only nourishes them – they are happier, healthier and more satisfied with their lives! According to Edy Cassell, the Sierra Garden Program manager, the crew has such fun together as they work incredibly hard digging post holes, building fences, installing irrigation systems, planting seeds and then they sprinkle it with a little magic dust for a successful and bountiful garden for these families!

For all the volunteers who couldn’t make it to the event, we extend to you our enthusiastic gratitude for all you do to serve our children, farmers and families in creating a dynamic local food system. We couldn’t do it without you!

A special thank you also to Flour Garden Bakery for donating a beautiful cake that served our 75 guests!

Meet new friends, develop new skills and gain a sense of accomplishment

Join our Sierra Harvest family and volunteer today! For more information about volunteering contact Miriam Limov at miriam@sierraharvest.org or complete the online volunteer application.  If you are a new volunteer to Sierra Harvest, you can even earn discounts at BriarPatch Food Co-op!

Nathan Finkler hands out ground cherries for attendees to taste as part of the Farm to School Program

Sierra Harvest’s Farm to School Program Celebrates 10 Years!

Camper at the Food Love Farm, 2018

School is back in session, and with it another year of Sierra Harvest’s Farm to School program.  2019 marks 10 years of Farm to School education in our local schools!  From its humble beginnings as a volunteer effort to start a school garden, the program has grown to serve over 7000 students at 32 schools in western Nevada County.  The program offers monthly produce tastings through the Harvest of the Month, cooking lessons with guest chefs, farm field trips, weekly produce carts in the fall, farmer classroom visits, plant sales and support for school gardens.  To celebrate this awesome milestone, we’ve compiled a list of Farm to School moments throughout the years.

2009 Volunteers with Live Healthy Nevada County create a school garden at Hennessey Elementary.  First official farm to school field trip happens in July at Riverhill Farm and the first Harvest of the Month tasting happens at Hennessey Elementary School where the students tasted carrots from Mountain Bounty Farm and apples from Bierwagons.

2010 Living Lands Agrarian Network breaks ground for the Food Love Farm site using horsepower!  They also provide farmer classroom visits at Nevada City Elementary, Gold Run and Deer Creek.  Live Healthy Nevada County presents “Nevada County Cooks! School Food Summit” to bring stakeholders together to brainstorm around school food plans.

2011 The Food Love Farm hosts its first year of field trips, serving over 1,000 kids and community members.  The farm offers produce at a roadside stand by donation.  Tasting Week, a celebration of local food, where guest chefs come into schools to do cooking classes with the kids, was launched.

2012 Live Healthy Nevada County receives CFDA grant to launch a complete Farm to School program in 12 schools!  Harvest of the Month kicks off with 1,000 pounds of local organic mandarins served to 4,000 students.  The Food Love Farm starts doing U-pick veggies every Tuesday during the growing season.

2013 The Farm to School program extends to 19 schools offering garden carts, farmer classroom visits, and field trips to partner farms. Live Healthy Nevada County and Living Lands Agrarian Network merge to become Sierra Harvest!

2014- Tasting Week (where guest chefs teach hands-on cooking demos in classrooms) is a huge hit now at 19 schools, as are 2 “lunch for dinner” events at Ready Springs and Seven Hills promoting scratch-cooked lunch options.

2015– A whopping 22 schools are on board with Farm to School!   That’s 96% of the K-8 population in Western Nevada County!  Harvest of the Month gets a little more adventurous with students sampling jicama, microgreens and cabbage. Fifteen local farmers are partnered with schools.

2016– Sierra Harvest receives more funding through CDFA to continue Farm to School programming, helping cafeterias and institutions source local and regional foods. High schools get involved with student-led tastings and scratch-cooked meal options at Nevada Union, Silver Springs, and Bear River HS.  California Thursdays launches district wide.  Food Love Farm now takes SNAP benefits!

2017– Foothills Fresh pilot program launches serving lunches at Deer Creek and 7 Hills.  Participation increases by 106%!  Junior Iron Chef Program gets high school culinary students cooking up a storm.  79% of students try something new through Harvest of the Month (that could be because kumquats were served this year!)

2018-19 After serving up more than 73,000 pounds of food to local students, Farm to school gets a makeover!  After 10 years, schools now have the option to choose the elements of farm to school that work best for their school!  Schools have access to Harvest of the Month, guest chefs, farmer visits, farm field trips, school garden carts, plant sales and garden education support.  Briar Patch Coop has partnered to cover the cost of Harvest of the Month as a business sponsor! 

There have been so many impacts of Sierra Harvest’s farm to school program, it’s impossible to keep it all in a neat chronological list.  But when you think about the success of the programming, it’s vital to understand the role of the Farm to School liaison position and our farm partners.

The farm to school liaisons and farm partners are what make the whole program work!  These champions are the heart of it all: physically picking up and distributing produce, teaching students, hosting field trips and being true advocates for this work at their schools and farms.  It’s definitely a labor of love. 

Liaison and teacher Jaimi Giguere from Williams Ranch had this to say, “This is my fifth year as a Sierra Harvest liaison and I continue to marvel at how important this program is for my school.  When I first started it was clear how removed our students were from local and fresh food, but five years in, I see great change.  There are so many components to the program that benefit our students, but I think that Harvest of the Month has been the most profound on our site.  I have witnessed students, families, and staff exclaim how they have tried something new.  They have been especially surprised at how much they enjoy fresh vegetables.   Students have been excited to share their experience with their families and have even demanded items for dinner!  Parents have proclaimed that their child wouldn’t eat a variety of fruits and vegetables at home, but the experiences that Sierra Harvest provide encourages a social acceptance toward these foods and the children are often excited to try and discover a new love for a new food. “

It has been said that it takes 10 years to “succeed overnight.”  The students who started this programming in kindergarten are now entering high school.  Knowing who their local farmers are is ingrained.  Trying new fruits and vegetables is normal.  There’s so much delicious momentum that has been built, who knows what impacts these students will have when they bring their Farm to School foundation out into the world.  Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to find out!

Tasting day at Williams Ranch School 2017
Tasting Day at Williams Ranch School, 2017

 

 

Sierra Harvest is Growing Farmers

A closer look at our Farm Crew Program, 8/28/18

Education Coordinator Kalita Todd with Farm Crew Members Karina Baxter, Hanna Perkins, Delilah Lee and Don Aherin.

Education Coordinator Kalita Todd with Farm Crew Members Karina Baxter, Hanna Perkins, Delilah Lee and Don Aherin.

With a collective sigh of relief, farmers across the county have welcomed the cooler temperatures and the waning of the summer light.  Among those farmers are Sierra Harvests’ very own Farm Crew Members.  Karina, Hannah, Don and Delilah have been diligently working on their host farms since the spring, nurturing crops in the fields and bringing them to market, learning the nuances of their farm sites and the different methods used by their mentor farmers. 

Agriculture is a skill-set learned by doing.  The old adage says “the best fertilizer is the footsteps of the farmer.”  Our Farm Crew members have been walking the fields behind their mentors, literally placing their own feet in those very footsteps, and being nurtured right alongside the plants in doing so.  This seems an apt place to give special thanks to our mentor farmers:  Will Holland and Kristen Leach of FogDog Farm,  Autumn Barr of Laughing Oak Farm,  Juan Jose Domingo and  Eve Stefani at Filaki Farm, and Sharon Casey and Guy Baldwin of Towani Organic Farm

In addition to working alongside their mentor farmers, Farm Crew members have been attending Agricultural Skills Classes every other week.  Taught on farm by local farmers, these 2.5 hour classes are a survey of sustainable agriculture methods used in Nevada County and offer an opportunity for Farm Crew members to dig deep into specific farming skills and topics.   So far, Farm Crew members have learned Greenhouse Management, Field and Soil Preparation, Weed Management, Best Practices in Irrigation, Integrated Pest Management, Understanding Soils, and two classes on Integrating Animals and Row Crops.  There are still 6 classes left!  These classes are open to the public – join us for any that look exciting.

We thought it would be fun to bring you all a closer look at the Farm Crew experience, so we asked Farm Crew Members Delilah Lee and Don Aherin about their experiences:

What is an exciting or unexpected thing that you’ve learned on your host farm?

Delilah:  “Learning about Fog Dog’s no-till process has been really great.  That was completely new for me! It works so well for them; all of their vegetable are just spot-on perfect!  

Don: “Learning flower farming at Laughing Oak Farm.  I always thought about growing flowers for pollinators and habitat but I hadn’t thought about making creative things with flowers.”

What’s your favorite vegetable that you grow on your host farm?

Delilah: “Right now it’s the beans!  It takes SO LONG to pick those beans but when you go home and you cook them, you’re just like, these are fantastic!  And maybe that’s because you’ve spent hours outside harvesting.  They have dragon’s tongue beans which are really nice and really beautiful.  Everybody loves them.”

Don:  “Golden Beets!  I grow them at the farm, then I get to deliver them to the restaurant I also work at – Twelve 28 Kitchen.  At the restaurant, they poach them in oil with a sachet of cinnamon, anise, thyme, bay and other spices.  Then we dice them and serve them with a dressing.  It is delicious!”

What has been your favorite Ag Skills class so far?

Don:  Best Practices in Irrigation at Riverhill Farm

Delilah:  Cindy Fake’s class on Integrated Pest Management at Food Love Farm

Jeremy Mineau of Super Tuber Farm teaching a Farm Crew Class
Jeremy Mineau of Super Tuber Farm teaching a Farm Crew Class

Global Problems: Local Solutions

Carolyn Mackinlay and William Edwards (homeowner) gleaning 2018
Carolyn Mackinlay and homeowner William Edwards gleaning, 2018

Gold Country Gleaners donate excess food to the Interfaith Food Ministry

Did you know that 40 percent of food produced in United States goes to waste?  Annually, 160 billion dollars-worth of produce goes uneaten.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, wasted food is also the single biggest occupant in American landfills.  Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans are considered “food insecure.”

While these figures are staggering, there are actions being taken in our local community around these very issues.  Enter the Gold Country Gleaners.   Since 2011, more than 100 volunteers have gleaned (the act of harvesting produce that would otherwise be wasted) thousands of pounds of produce from more than 75 backyards and farms.  As of this year, Sierra Harvest is continuing the legacy of this volunteer program by expanding its reach, bringing healthy produce to thousands of Nevada County residents in need by working directly with Interfaith Food Ministry (IFM).  IFM’s mission is to work to feed the hungry and reduce food insecurity in Nevada County.  In 2017 IFM served about 8,000 unique individuals a quarter of which are children.

Phil Alonso, Executive Director of IFM says; “With more produce, contributing to a healthy diet, there is a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. The healthier food a child eats the more they can concentrate on school. The healthier an adult eats the less they spend on medical intervention, which allows them to spend their money on rent, gas, clothes and other necessary expenses. Our partnership with Sierra Harvest reflects how local collaboration helps everyone. Our community is a better place when people are healthy and happy.”

The gleaners are currently working on these issues in a few ways- by getting unsold produce from local farmers at the end of the Nevada City Farmer’s Markets, and by harvesting on homesteads and farms that have excess to share. Already this August over 1,000 pounds of produce has been donated to IFM!  Six passionate volunteer Harvest Leaders lead each days gleaning volunteers and deliver the products directly to IFM to be stored in their cooler – fresh and ready for consumption!

Homeowner Kathleen Parsons who had more than 119 pounds of apples and plums gleaned recently says that “Sierra Harvest exceeded any and all expectations I had when calling to have the excess fruit gleaned. They were promptly responsive and arrived on time, super polite, friendly and went the extra mile and cleaned up all the fruit that had already fallen and disposed of it in my compost pile.  I was left with a tidy yard and a feeling of gratitude that I was helping get food to those in need without doing more than reaching out to the absolute right people.”

And as the fall season approaches, there will be even more abundance to share!  Do you have at least 25 pounds of fruit on your trees that need to be picked?  Call the Sierra Harvest Gold Country Gleaners today to schedule a glean! More details here and to sign up.

Elizabeth gleaning apples, 2018
Elizabeth gleaning apples, 2018

Macey Fowler: High School student raises cow for local fair

Amidst the moos of George, a 2 year old Charolais Angus cross steer, we caught up with Macey Fowler, a sophomore at Bear River High School who is raising a grass finished cow for the upcoming Nevada County Fair.  An annual tradition dating back to 1938, the Nevada County Fair draws thousands of visitors of all ages! Showcasing agriculture, animals, arts and crafts (not to mention rides and music too!)- from corndogs to organic salads, the fair has something for everyone.  

As part of the FFA (Future Farmers of America), Macey Fowler has been raising this grass finished steer for 2 years and is really excited to share her hard work with the community. 

Here’s how it works- after the animals that FFA students have raised are shown during the fair and are deemed “market ready,” the winners head to the live auction on Sunday.  So, if you are excited about Macey’s steer- it could be yours!  When asked why she chose to finish her steer on pasture, she said, “I like to see cattle roaming around, to me it seems like they gain better and are happy eating grass.” 

And if anyone would know about pasture raised animals- it’s Macey. Her family’s business, Fowler Family Farm is a small family operation offering chicken, turkey, goose, eggs, beef, pork, rabbit and goat.   The Fowlers raise their animals sustainably on fresh green pasture without hormones or antibiotics, and supplement with certified organic feed as needed.

After participating in her family’s farm and seeing the demand for meat raised this way, Macey is already raising a steer for next year’s fair.  This one will be fully grass fed from start to finish.

To see Macey’s steer and all the fair entries visit the Nevada County Fair August 8th-12th. 

 

 

 

Another Tasty Summer at Food Love Camp!

Yum! Food Love Camp was tasty!

The 6th year of Food Love Camp just wrapped up and it may have been the most delicious year yet!  In the midst of July heat, kids prepared spring rolls, veggie sushi, pesto pasta, tamales, grilled veggies, rainbow smoothies and lots of green salads…all right from the farm!  Campers harvested, washed and prepped a bounty of fresh foods- culminating with the “Friendsgiving Feast” at the end of the week.  Returning camper, Kyle, shared his gratitude during the feast, “I’m thankful for being united with new friends on the farm.”

In addition to all this delicious fare, campers loved spending time with the animals- including friendly chickens, ducks, rabbits and cats.  Campers dyed tshirts with plant based dyes, played all sorts of games, learned about nutrition, seeds and where food comes from- and of course made new friends!

One of the favorite camp activities is always the “mock farmer’s market” where campers create their own booths filled with fresh produce.  Kids love “selling” their produce and making their farm vision come to life.

Food Love Camp would not be possible without the support of many generous supporters who provided scholarships for this year’s programming.  Our gratitude goes out to these donors and to all the campers and parents who participated in this season’s offerings.  And one more shout out to our fearless camp staff – thank you Emily, Brianna and Sophie for making it terribly fun to eat fresh veggies!

Missed camp?  Fear not!  You can still make it to U-picks, which are happening on the Food Love Farm every Tuesday evening from 4:30-6:30 pm through the end of October.  More info about U-picks or, talk to your child’s teacher about scheduling a field trip for their class in the fall!

Welcome Sierra Harvest’s Newest Team Members!

Sierra Harvest is pleased to welcome 2 new staffers to the team –
Carla Rosin and Sophie Larsen!

Carla Rosin is the new Sustainable Food and Farm Conference Producer.   Bringing a background in activism and organizing for the past 15 years, Rosin has lots of great experience in the sustainable food movement. Combining a strong passion and incredible connections, Carla is sure to bring the conference to the next level!
 
As part of the planning and diversity advisory committees for the EcoFarm Conference and in her role as the Sebastopol Farmer’s Market director, Rosin has her finger on the pulse of what farmer’s are interested in,and is sure to bring new energy and inspiration to the next Sustainable Food and Farm Conference. Carla is based in Santa Cruz, but you can find her here on a regular basis, working with the Sierra Harvest staff and enjoying all the foothills have to offer.
Carla Rosen, right, with author of City Chicks Patricia Forman

Our second new staff member is Sophie Larsen, Food Love Educator. With a background working at a farm and education center in Southern Oregon, Larsen brings passion, experience, and enthusiasm to the Food Love crew. She’s really excited to be a part of a farm whose focus goes beyond growing food, and is inspired by the mission of Sierra Harvest to do this work. Larsen is looking forward to teaching children at summer camp and field trips, and loves sharing the beauty of the farm with this community! A transplant from Santa Cruz, Sophie is also working at Starbright Acres Family Farm and you can find her there the rest of the time that she’s not at Food Love.