One of the benefits of western Nevada County is the bounty that is grown by local family farms, some of which have been operating in the area for generations and others that have popped up within the past ten years by idealistic young people looking to return to their roots. The newer farms are thanks in no small part to Sierra Harvest, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate, inspire, and connect Nevada County families to fresh, local, seasonal food.
As a result, you can get locally grown, fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and meats year-round here in Grass Valley. There are a number of Community Supported Agriculture groups to which you can subscribe to get a weekly box of whatever is ripe that week. The Nevada County Certified Growers Markets operate at three locations around Nevada County from spring through fall, including the ever-popular Saturday morning market on the beautiful grounds of the Historic North Star House. Spend a Saturday morning tasting the bounty of the earth, listen to some great live music in the shade of an oak tree, bring the kids to do an art project and help pick out the vegetables for tonight’s dinner… our farmer’s markets are a unique, special bonus to living in or visiting Grass Valley.
In addition, some farms have u-pick options throughout the year or you can get your produce directly from the farmers themselves and take a tour of the farm while you’re at it. U-pick farms include Bierwagen’s Donner Trail Fruit, Larkspur Lavendar Farm, Lazy Valley Ranch, Riverhill Farm, and Sierra Love Project. Meeting the farmer who grew your food and preparing a meal from items bought from a farm stand that day is an incomparable experience; you can taste the sunshine and love that went into each item!
Many of our local restaurants have embraced the local food movement, as well, and use locally sourced items as much as possible. For an upscale gourmet experience that supports our local organic farms, visit New Moon Café in Nevada City. Their menu changes with the seasons to ensure the freshest local ingredients are used to their maximum potential and everything is prepared by renowned chefs combining classic techniques with bold, fresh flavors.
For international flair using local produce, try Diego’s Restaurant in Grass Valley. The flavors take you on a journey to South America while the fun, eclectic décor inspires lively conversation with your dining companions. For a more casual experience, visit Summer Thyme’s bakery and deli, another local, organic eatery in Grass Valley where everything is scratch made and guests can enjoy their food with live music and spoken word performances throughout the year.
If you are looking for a culinary adventure like no other, consider joining Polly’s Paladar, a membership supper club where a guest chef prepares a unique pop-up dinner monthly, or Bierwagen’s Branches and Blessings dinners that occur monthly throughout the summer.
No matter what your culinary preferences, Nevada County is certain to please any palate!