Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
April 22, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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April 22, 2015

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 22, 2015 1B I A basket of produce represents what members of High Altitude Harvest Community Supported Agriculture receive each week during the growing season. Membership slots are still available for the upcoming season. Farmers form guild to brand local produce "7 Strawberries sit ready to eat during last year's harvest at Sundberg Growers farm in Quincy. Elizabeth Powell, left, and farming partner Cody Reed display the rich soil that makes up the 2.5-acre Five Foot Farm in Quincy. Both are pioneers in the locally-grown farm movement. A free-range chicken struts her stuff at Sasquatch Farm in Quincy. In addition to meat birds, the farm produces veggies, fruit, eggs and hops. P00otos courtesy Plumas Farmers Guild p 9rmm,at Four /inds Farm in Indian Valley, with Mount Hough towering in the baclground. Four Winds Farm supplies wool to the community. "It's a pivotal time to be a farmer." Brian Sundberg Sundberg Growers James Wilson Staff Writer I group of local farmers thinks peop!e ought to know k where their food comes from. That s why this group plans to say it and display it proud -- ' W Plumas Grown. The recently formed Plumas Farmers Guild, made up of farmers and ranchers in the community, plan to use a Plumas Grown label to distinguish their products from the rest. A boom in small farm development around Plumas County inspired local farmers to work together to market their products as a whole. "One thing we've noticed is there are a lot of different definitions to the word 'local' now," said Elizabeth Powell, co-owner of Quincy's Five Foot Farm. PoweU noted that produce with a Grown Local logo can come from anywhere in California. With Plumas Grown there will be no question as to where the food came from. "It can be hard when you go into the grocery store or to the farmers' market to see What products are coming from really local sources," Powell continued. "We just want to make it easier for people to spot our products." Various farmers raved about the benefits of small farms and growing local. Brian Sundberg, from Sundberg Growers, talked passionately about the revival of small farms. "Small farms used to be the why," he said. "At some point, they went by the wayside to big agriculture. I feel like we're trying to take back something. Take back the food system. It's a pivotal time to be a farmer." Local farmers decided the best way to compete against big agriculture was to join forces. Just like their produce, the farmers' guild formed organically. The Plumas Farmers Guild was born after the two-year Sierra Intensive Farmer Training program ended last year. SIFT was a two-year program funded by a USDA grant and formed by Plumas Rural Services that trained beginning farmers In the art of mountain food production. During training, local farmers spent quite a bit of time with each other. Once the program ended, the farmers involved decided it Would benefit all of them to continue meeting, lending each other moral support. "After the SIFT program ended, we created this network of support," explained Vanessa Vasquez, from Bike Basket Growers in Quincy. "We worked on each other's farms, creating the infrastructure, and decided to continue to see what else we can do to help each other out." The guild is currently working on starting a tool share program. Additionally, the guild is in the process of creating a website, Farmers and ranchers in the area can list their businesses on the website. The first area members of the newly formed guild decided to focus onwas branding -- making their products stand out. The farmers' guild received a minigrant from Plumas County Public Health Agency's 20,000 Lives initiative to go toward the design and printing of a Plumas Grown logo. Brad Bodenham, owner of HambeU Designs in Quincy, designed a logo in the shape of the county. Guild members say the logo is clear in its intent and memorable in its design. Plumas County farmers plan to display the new logo on their products and at locations where their products are sold. The logo not only stresses the freshness of local products, but also the economic benefits of buying products made in the county. Currently, the vast majority of food purchased in the See Guild, page 7B 7