Placergrown Week Celebrates County’s Agriculture

Published on October 10, 2014

The thriving and unique agricultural industry in Placer County is celebrating PlacerGROWN week through October 19. The celebratory week has included a series of events highlighting the many different agricultural commodities produced in the county, most of which come from small, locally owned farms and ranches.

This weekend will include the PlacerGrown Hoe Down on Saturday and the PlacerGROWN Harvest Festival, which takes place on both Saturday and Sunday.

PlacerGROWN is the marketing entity for Placer County agriculture. Its mission is to connect county residents and visitors with local family farmers, ranchers and vintners who produce the fruits, vegetables, meats and other agricultural products. PlacerGROWN utilizes extensive community outreach, events such as the PlacerGROWN week, and the collaborative efforts of Placer County and local businesses to make known to those both within and outside the county of the abundance and quality of food and wine produced here.

“There are so many ways to celebrate PlacerGROWN every week,” said Fifth District Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “Buy the wine, buy the fruit, buy the vegetables. Right now if you go out to the farmers’ market, the flowers are astonishingly beautiful. Buy some fresh Placer grown flowers and take them to a friend. Take them to a family member. Take them to someone you don’t know in one of our rest homes or retirement centers. We should absolutely take full advantage of PlacerGROWN”

Placer County’s burgeoning wine industry was one of the few entities that may have benefitted from the prolonged drought the region has been suffering. Many wine grape growers have reported that the volume of grapes this year is down, with grapes smaller than in previous years. But the benefit of that is the flavors have been concentrated and many winemakers are indicating that may be the formula for a good wine year. The 2014 vintage may be a year to look forward to.

The Celebrate PlacerGROWN Week will feature activities highlighting the region. Events include:

  • PlacerGROWN Crop to Tabletop Dinner, Sat., October 11, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This kickoff event for PlacerGROWN Week, is a dinner featuring local, grilled meats, salads, side dishes, and fall-flavored deserts, all paired with locally produced beer and wine. A local band will provide music for the evening. For additional information, visit Brown Paper Tickets.
  • The Auburn Wine and Food Festival, Sat., October 11, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The Festival will offer a chance to sample wines from 25 local wineries, gourmet food samples, the chance to peruse specially selected Auburn merchants, a free shuttle bus, and the chance to meet the owners of the wineries, restaurants and shops and see their wares. Additional information and tickets are available at Auburn Wine, Ale, and Spirits Festival.
  • The Farm and Barn Tour is an expedition of the county's agricultural heritage and its family farms. The free, one-day, self-guided tour visits working farms, ranches, and vineyards through Placer County’s pastoral foothills countryside. Each venue will feature different activities, tours, demonstrations, farm animals and displays. Farms will also have products available for purchase. Visit PlacerGROWN for more information.
  • PlacerGROWN Harvest Festival, Sat., October 18 from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sun., October 19 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This free event of family fun includes a pumpkin patch, scarecrow building contest, free family movie (beginning at dusk Saturday), a farmers' market and more. For more information visit Placer Harvest Festival.
  • Placer County Farm Bureau Hoe Down, Sat., October 18, dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. This event is a dinner and live auction benefitting agricultural students. Due to limited seating, reservations are required. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to call 916-663-2929.

With cooler autumn weather settling in on the foothills, and foliage changing to the red, orange and yellow hues of fall, the time is perfect for residents and visitors alike to visit and see the bounty offered from the many local agricultural enterprises.

“We will continue to spread the good word about all that we have to offer in terms of agricultural products,” said County Agricultural Commissioner Joshua Huntsinger. “We want more people to know about the beauty of our oak foothills that are dotted with small local producers of fabulous goods. We encourage those who have previously visited local farms and ranches and newcomers alike to participate in some of the upcoming events as part of Celebrate PlacerGROWN Week.”