A Day of Soil, Farmers & Food! Farm to Fork Experience in the Foothills
Sierra Foothills Farm and Wine Tour Experience by Bethany Woy Yes, we know that California is known for amazing fresh fruits and vegetables. We are known to produce some of the best wine grapes in the world. We are blessed with rolling hills of orchards, farms and vineyards. On a beautiful Saturday this May, a few food lovers decided they would venture out of Midtown Sacramento and join Local Roots Food Tours on the exploration of the nearby Sierra Foothills. A bartender, secretary, regional manager and executive chef joined the Local Roots staff and spent an afternoon discovering the wonders of nature right outside our back door. Here’s what they found. “ We met up in Newcastle at a quaint little country store that you would see out of an old time movie. All fresh produce and local items were sold there. No big box stores. Just products from local dairies, farms, orchards and vineyards. Right away I knew this would be right up my alley. Living in Sacramento, it’s great to be able to shop at the Co-op or Farmer’s Markets, but seeing a little store with so many wonderful local products was refreshing. We loaded up into the comfortable bus and headed out to Colwell Thundering Herd Farms where we met Rich and Nancy Colwell that own a mandarin farm. This couple have lived in Penryn since 1984, but the family farm dates back to 1959. The Colwells continue to live in an old ranch home owned by the Butler family dating back to the late 1800’s. (the land has supported peach, pears and plum orchards at that time!) Meeting Rich and Nancy was amazing and they were the nicest people ever. You could definitely see the passion they have for farming. I had no idea there were so many varietals of mandarin oranges but Rich gave us a full mandarin grove tour where we got to actually touch the trees and learn about pruning, harvesting and processing this amazing fruit. It was so wonderful to have them open up their property to us visitors. The Colwells produce mandarin and lemon olive oil as well as balsamic vinegar and mandarin chocolate sauce. After touring the farm and getting up close and personal with the fruit we were asked to sit in a wonderful shady area of the property and asked to sample the Colwells products. We got to sample the olive oils, chocolate sauces, vinegars and even the fresh fruit itself. Continue Reading More!