The Farmers Guild Expands to the Sierra Region!

Tim Van Wagner & Leo Chapman

Tim Van Wagner & Leo Chapman

Next Thursday evening, Nevada County will carry on a long legacy of agricultural community-building with the launch of a brand new Farmers Guild!

Over a century ago, Grange Halls emerged all over California to serve the growing farming community. Three of these halls still stand in Nevada County today. The county has changed a lot since the Gold Rush, but the miners of the past and the new tech workers who call the Sierra foothills home today have one thing in common: they all must eat.  And, in order to eat, you still need farmers.

Robbie & Deena, Sweet Roots Farm

Robbie & Deena, Sweet Roots Farm

Welcome Living Lands Agrarian Network (LLAN). Founded by Leo Chapman in Nevada City a few years ago, this organization formed to provide mentorship for a new generation of farmers. Their distinctive model is a combination of cooperative sustainable agriculture education, resource sharing, community partnerships and celebration around the food they grow.

From this movement arose a popular series of Soup Nights, aimed at bringing together their whole community (consumers and producers) in the name of local food, both grown and shared.

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10 Practical Tips for the New, Aspiring Farmer!

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This year’s Nevada County Sustainable Food & Farm Conference brought together the tried and true of sustainable agriculture, alongside the newest wave of young agrarians, ready to get their hands dirty in order to feed us.

The crowd was a blend of those with decades of experience, including Denise Willey of T&D Willey Farms and Rich Johansen of Johansen Ranch, both of whom were farming organically before most Americans even had heard of the term. There were also those who had just faced the trials and tribulations of their first season, like Jeremy Mineau of Super Tuber Farm and Tim Van Wagner of First Rain Farm.

The weekend catered to the new and experienced farmer, but during my time at each of the workshops, a series of lessons began to emerge for the new, aspiring farmer. Here are several of the practical lessons worth passing on to the next crop of beginners.

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