Monday, June 16th was a super day for the Gold Country Gleaners! It was the first Monday after the “official” Farmer’s Market Season in Nevada County. I have to use the term “official” loosely because, here in Nevada County, we have a Grower’s Market, a Downtown Market, and a bunch of other markets throughout the year, but the season really gets started after Memorial Day, when the Nevada City Farmer’s Market starts.
The Gold Country Gleaners have been working with Mountain Bounty Farm for the past three years to bring fresh, organic produce to the hungry in Nevada County.
Mountain Bounty is locally famous for their “CSA” boxes, or Community Supported Agriculture boxes, a locally-based economic model that delivers fruits and vegetables (and sometimes flowers) to local people for an initial investment in the farm itself. For example, with Mountain Bounty, in addition to fruits and vegetables, you can pay $198 for 18 weeks of fresh flower bouquets. Mountain Bounty is one of the few farms locally that provides a Winter Vegetable CSA in addition to a Summer Vegetable CSA. Both boxes are amazing. For more information, please go to http://mountainbountyfarm.com/
For the past three years, during the farmer’s market season, Mountain Bounty Farm has donated their leftovers that they can’t sell at the farmer’s market to the Gold Country Gleaners on Monday morning.
I got a call from John Tecklin, the owner of Mountain Bounty Farm, just before my Monday morning trip out to the farm. There was an air of dilemma in his voice. He said to me, “Hey. I think you might need a pick-up truck.”
“Uh-oh. Is there that much stuff?” I grinned. It was a blessing that I was prepared to deal with.
“There is a lot of produce.” He replied.
On Monday morning, I packed my 4-door Honda CRV from front to back and floor to ceiling with boxes of veggies. I put a blanket on the floor of my car and piled carrots and beets on top.
There are several organizations in Nevada County that help to feed the hungry. There is the Nevada County Food Bank, the Interfaith Food Ministry, Sierra Roots, Women of Worth, The Salvation Army, and The San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center, just to name a few. The Gold Country Gleaners has donated to them all and continues to provide fresh, healthy, local produce to those in need in Nevada County.
I made five stops in Nevada County on June 16th, bringing produce to food pantries and local organizations. I received smiles where ever I went.
The Gold Country Gleaners are forever grateful to our donors. More often than not, farmers and gardeners just don’t have the time to deal with extra produce. The Gleaners have organized the people-power to pick-up food and deliver it. We have folks who go out to farms and pick the food on site. We have equipment and orchard ladders to pick fruit. We even have volunteers who have helped to prune trees in the fall and winter.
Our hats are off to John Tecklin and Mountain Bounty Farm for their continued commitment to helping feed Nevada County. If you have a farm or garden with extra fruits and veggies, we would be happy to assist you in getting those extras to our community members in need. Give us a call or email us. Thanks!
Hilary Hodge for the Gold Country Gleaners