PlacerGROWN: A bumper crop

PLACERGROWN HAS BECOME A POWERFUL voice in the foothills, thanks to its passion for farming, desire to conserve natural resources and commitment to grow fresh, local food.

The nonprofit group represents among the best of what the foothills offers in fruit and vegetable farming, Mandarin orchards, wine grape growing and all-natural meats.

Farmers such as Bryan Kaminsky, owner of the Natural Trading Co. in Newcastle, epitomize PlacerGrown’s “can-do” spirit. Brian was named Farmer of the Year at the group’s 16th annual Food and Farm Conference.

Brian, who has farmed in Placer County for 15 years, closed escrow in February on the county’s first agricultural conservation easement. As a result, he is creating a highly
visible model for Placer County agriculture.

Innovation and inspiration also were evident as Placer County vintners received eighteen medals—two gold, six silver and ten bronze, at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Medal winners included Dono dal Cielo, Duarte Family Vineyards, Fawnridge Winery, Casque Wines, Lone Buffalo Vineyard, Pescatore Vineyard and Mt. Vernon Winery.

PlacerGrown also is embracing the future. It has launched Verde Grown, an online marketplace designed to connect farmers, restaurants, caterers, stores and consumers.

Verde Grown allows farmers to list products for sale, as well as offering a search tool that helps restaurants, caterers and others find locally grown food.

PlacerGrown’s website, placergrown.org also is a useful tool for finding local products, farms to visit and farm and food events, making it easy to enjoy the county’s farm bounty year-round.

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