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  • Building Community at Blue Bird Farm

    Farmer Leo Chapman created Blue Bird Farm on a local landowners’ property and began hosting farm potlucks to build community around food and farming.  These events later evolved to include dozens of farm across Western Nevada County, attracting 100 guests.
  • Living Lands Agrarian Network

    Living Lands was formally developed by Leo Chapman, Masie Ganz, Tim Van Wagner, and Vince Booth with a mission to create a collaborative model for successful ecological farmers and farms.  Farmer Willow Hein joined the team to help grow the vision.
  • Fresh Food For All

    The Nevada County Public Health Department held a community wellness summit and formed a coalition bringing together over 100 stakeholders countywide to address the growing obesity epidemic.  A working group forms, Live Healthy Nevada County, and began to assess nutrition education in schools.
  • Creating More Farms in Nevada County

    Living Lands Agrarian Network, through collaborations with local land-owners, now has five farms in their network, like this one being developed off Genasci Road in a homeowner’s backyard.
  • Living Lands Helps Launch New Farmers

    Living Lands offers a “Journeyman” program, providing access to land, infrastructure, mentorship, and markets to help young farmers start their own businesses.
  • It Started With One School Garden

    The Farm to School program started at Hennessey Elementary School as a group of volunteers revived the school garden, took kids on farm field trips, made fresh sushi with garden veggies, and taught nutrition lessons out in the garden.
  • Breaking Ground at Food Love Farm

    After completing a Living Lands Farm internship, farmer Amanda Thibodeau starts The Food Love Project as a community resource for nutrition and farming education. It continued to grow, becoming the Food Love Farm, and hosts school field trips, summer camp, farm education internships, community potlucks, u-picks and more.
  • Getting More Fresh Food To School Children

    The Farm to School program grew to 4 schools and added produce stands like this one at Gold Run Elementary to expand access to fresh food and build relationships with local farmers. Live Healthy Nevada County began conversations with Grass Valley Child Nutrition Services to research a scratched-cooked school meal model for Western Nevada County.
  • Increasing Access to Farm Land

    To provide farmers more access to land, Living Lands created an online Land Bank, where community members can offer a portion of their property to be cultivated by a local farmer.  Landowners began to list their properties and farmers used the Land Bank as a resource.
  • Expanding Harvest of the Month to Thousands of Students

    Live Healthy Nevada County received a $300,000 grant to expand the Farm to School program to twelve schools, serving 48% of the county’s elementary and middle school students. The program had a full array of offerings including produce stands, farm field trips, classroom visits by chefs and farmers, and Harvest of the Month tastings in […]
  • Coming Together to Create Sierra Harvest

    After many years of working collaboratively on common goals, Live Healthy Nevada County and Living Lands Agrarian Network merged to form one organization, Sierra Harvest.  Sierra Harvest became a 501c3 non-profit organization.
  • Empowering Families to Grow Their Own at Home

    Sierra Harvest launched the Sierra Gardens program. Spearheaded by Leo Chapman, the program provided infrastructure and mentorship to local families so they can grow their own fresh, organic food at home.
  • Bringing Salad Bars and Locally Grown Food Into School Meals

    Sierra Harvest worked with the Nevada Union High School Food Services Director to research a new food procurement model that would support local and regional fresh food purchases for school meals. Two salad bars were installed in local high schools, improving fresh food access for many low income students participating in the National School Lunch […]
  • Expanding Impact

    Sierra Harvest expanded the Farm to School Program to serve 6,400 students and their families. By 2015, 30 young farmers have been trained and 30 Sierra Gardens built for low-income families so they would have direct access to fresh food right in their backyards.
  • The Sustainable Food & Farm Conference

    The Nevada County Sustainable Food & Farm Conference, one of the largest organic food and farm conferences in the state of CA, became a Sierra Harvest program.  The conference brings nationally recognized speakers in the food and farming industry to Nevada County, and attracts over 500 farmers, gardeners and foodies.
  •  Nevada County Food Policy Council

    Sierra Harvest establishes the Nevada County Food Policy Council, a multi-agency and community collaborative that works towards creating policies and systems that increase the production and consumption of fresh, local food and provide equitable access to vulnerable populations.  This collaborative works in tandem with the California Food Policy Council.
  • Foothills Fresh Pilot Program

    Sierra Harvest introduced Foothills Fresh, a new scratch cooked school lunch program for the Nevada City School District.  In collaboration with Nevada Joint Union High School Nutrition Services, the program demonstrated that scratch cooked school meals featuring fresh produce are not only possible, but profitable and widely popular among students and teachers.
  • Sierra Harvest Farm Institute

    Sierra Harvest launched this comprehensive educational program to help beginning farmers develop and sustain successful farm and ranch businesses in our region.  The institute’s educational programs were designed to meet critical needs of beginning farmers – farm production skills, marketing and business planning, access to land and mentorship.
  • Sierra Harvest Adopts Gold Country Gleaners

    Gold Country Gleaners merged with Sierra Harvest, bringing more resources and organization to this volunteer-run community program.  In the first year of partnership, the Gleaners harvested over 5 tons of excess produce from local farms and delivered it to Interfaith Food Ministry where it is distributed to those in need.
  • Putting Local on the Menu

    After success procuring local food for school meals, requests came from other food producers and “Putting Local on the Menu” was launched. A new Food Procurement Specialist position was created and began working with Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Interfaith Food Ministry, restaurants, and other institutions to put more local food on the menu.
  • Forever Farms Formed to Protect Prime Farm Land

    The Forever Farms partnership – between Sierra Harvest, Bear Yuba Land Trust, BriarPatch Food Co-op, and the Tahoe Food Hub – formed and protected 37 acres of threatened farmland leased by Mountain Bounty Farm, Nevada County’s largest vegetable producer.   Through a collective community campaign, the funds were raised to allowed the Bear Yuba Land Trust […]
  • Transforming School Food for Western Nevada County

    All eight Western Nevada County School Districts agreed to work collaboratively with Sierra Harvest and the Chef Ann Foundation to transform school meals from heat and serve to scratch-cooked lunches. This landmark collaboration will involve three years of close work and development with Chef Ann’s expert staff.
  • Nevada County Food System Assessment is Published

    With Sierra Harvest’s support, the Nevada County Food Policy Council published a food system assessment, highlighting strategies to create more local food resiliency.   This comprehensive publication, 5 years in the making, provides a roadmap for increasing the amount of local food we grow and eat each year.
  • Prioritizing Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

    After bearing witness to the racially motivated events in 2020, our team knew we could, and must, do better. We began participating in food justice education and identified individual and collective strategies to help reverse oppression and inequity in the food system.   This work is ongoing and now integrated into our trainings and policies.