Our visit to China: Pandas, Peking duck — and Mandarins

WE FEATURE THE SWEET MOUNTAIN MANDARIN in our fall issue, so it’s fitting we’re writing the introduction while vacationing in China — where a version of the seedless, easy-to-peel fruit likely originated centuries ago. It’s “fall break,” and we decided to visit this exotic destination to explore its rich culture, enjoy the cuisine and see […]

Mountain Mandarins: A Sweet Crop

WHEN ORGANIZERS IN NEWCASTLE — nestled in the foothills near Auburn — held their first Mountain Mandarin Festival 26 years ago, they never imagined that it would grow to a three-day event that now attracts up to 35,000 people from throughout the West. Visitors to the Mountain Mandarin Festival — held on the weekend of […]

Our Local Bounty

NEVADA AND PLACER COUNTIES are home to a growing, healthy and vibrant base of local farms, rivaling the Central Valley, Sonoma and San Luis Obispo. From fruits and vegetables (Riverhill Farm and Machado Orchards, for example) to grass-fed beef (Nevada County Free Range Beef and Sinclair Family Farm) — from olive oil, jams and honey […]

Craft Cocktails

SOUTH FORK VODKA A locally made vodka called South Fork Vodka was released this fall — the latest sign of the boom in craft distilleries. “South Fork Vodka is an elegant hand crafted vodka, distilled six times from American corn, and produced in small batches here in Grass Valley,” according to its owners. South Fork […]

Sweet Treat: 25th Mountain Mandarin Festival is November 16-18

MANDARINS HAVE BEEN GROWN IN THE FOOTHILLS surrounding Newcastle since the late 1800s. The first commercial Mandarin endeavors were started in the 1950s by Frank Aguilar, Ed Pilz and Harold Struble, and there are now over 80 growers in Placer County. When organizers in the bucolic foothills town of Newcastle held their first Mountain Mandarin […]

Our local bounty: Farm to you

NEVADA AND PLACER COUNTIES ARE home to a growing, healthy and vibrant base of local farms, rivaling the Central Valley, Sonoma and San Luis Obispo. From fruits and vegetables (Riverhill Farm and Machado Orchards, for example) to grass-fed beef (Nevada County Free Range Beef and Sinclair Family Farm) — from olive oil, jams and honey […]

‘Tis The Season: Events Calendar, Oct.-Dec. 2017

40TH ANNUAL VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 & 17, 1:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 13 & 20, 5-9 p.m. Welcome the holiday season in style in historic Nevada City, a quaint, Gold Rush town nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra where each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card […]

The Sweetest Season: Mountain Mandarins

As fall arrives, Placer County’s hills are aglow with ripening Mountain Mandarins. More than 40 Mandarin growers are nestled in the hills around Penryn, Newcastle, Loomis, Lincoln and Auburn. They have been providing tree-ripened, hand-picked Mandarins since the 1880s. “Mandarins are the signature fruit of the foothills,” observes Cindy Fake of the UC Cooperative Extension […]

‘Tis the season

Cornish Christmas Fridays, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23; 6-9 p.m. Recapture the spirit of Christmas past in historic downtown Grass Valley during the annual Cornish Christmas Celebration. Started in 1967 to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Cornish Christmas remains one of the region’s most popular events. Mill and West Main […]

‘Tis the Season: Holiday events in the foothills

Cornish Christmas Fridays, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23; 6-9 p.m. Recapture the spirit of Christmas past in historic downtown Grass Valley during the annual Cornish Christmas Celebration. Started in 1967 to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Cornish Christmas remains one of the region’s most popular events. Mill and West Main […]

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