Fresh Food Festivals and Farm Tours all summer long

PLACER COUNTY’S RURAL ROADS ARE LINED WITH rows of orchards, and the peaches, pears and plums are at their ripest. Farms are brimming with fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers and squash.

In the foothills and Truckee/Tahoe, the weekly farmers markets are in full swing, offering local produce, meat and eggs—and helping to build community spirit.

Produce markets are booming. The Blue Goose in Loomis, Machados in Auburn and Newcastle Produce pack their shelves full of fruits and vegetables, along with pies, jams, jellies and more.

People also can taste local food and wine at weekly summer events, such as Auburn Wednesday Night Live, Loomis Thursday Night Family Fest and Rocklin Front Street Fridays.

Summer is the best time to go on a farm tour—fun or the whole family. (For a list and directions, go to PlacerGROWN.org). Twin Peaks Orchard hosts its annual summer open house on Sunday, July 10. Visitors can sample fruit and tour the orchards.

Festivals are dedicated to local fruits and vegetables. The High Hand Tomato Gathering is August 20-21 at the High Hand Nursery & Conservatory, located in historic fruit sheds in Loomis.

Pilz Produce and other growers offer samples of their heirloom tomatoes, and there are contests for farmers and home gardeners.

The Placer County Honey Festival is Sunday, September 18 at Ron Feist Park in Granite Bay. The festival includes honey tasting, food from local restaurants, wine tasting and native plant displays.

Loomis hosts the annual Eggplant Festival on Saturday, October 1. Chefs compete in eggplant cookoffs, there’s food, arts and crafts, and area wineries host a wine garden. About 8,000 people are
expected.

This year’s Gold Country Fair, from September 8-11, is dedicated to agriculture. It is titled “Let’s Get Ag-Cited!” summing up a summer season that celebrates local farming and fresh, local food.

(photo credit: Wayde Carroll)

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