Jessie Mazar, left and Leslie Pace, co-directors of the Lost Sierra Food Project, are ready to work on the farm. Photo submitted

Providing fresh produce for a community

Access to fresh produce for some Plumas County residents is always a challenge, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is more of an

Siblings Calliope and Guy Graevs work in the garden at Five Foot Farm, one of the Lost Sierra Food Project’s programs. Photo submitted

issue than ever. The Lost Sierra Food Project is seeking the public’s help to provide for those in need as well as provide fresh produce for all community residents.

The Lost Sierra Food Project was developed in March 2019 by four community members in response to the limited access of fresh, local produce and the need to educate the public about ecological farming and wellness.

Its mission is to increase access of locally grown produce to Plumas County residents, prioritizing low income populations; provide workforce development programs on the farm; and create ecological farming educational opportunities. For more information, go to lostsierrafoodproject.org. Lost Sierra is currently farming out of the Five Foot Farm site across the highway from the Gansner Airport in Quincy.

 Farm shares and GoFundMe

The Lost Sierra Food Project offers a free and reduced farm share (community supported agriculture) program, which provides weekly produce bags for participants who are low-income, many of whom are without work. In exchange for a seasonal farm share, recipients choose to volunteer nine hours on the farm and participate in three cooking classes with local chefs, or, in lieu of volunteering, they can pay a subsidized amount. Lost Sierra is currently accepting applications to join the fun! Interested families or individuals can apply at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P52KFP9

“I was a recipient of a produce share through the Lost Sierra Food Project in the summer of 2019,” wrote one recipient. “I want to tell you how wonderful this program is, especially in its uniqueness to provide fresh and diverse produce to a lower income bracket that often does not have the money to purchase this type of food. Each week I received produce and was able to plan my meals around what was available in my share.”

Lost Sierra anticipates that there will be an increased need this summer as a result of coronavirus. According to statistics, prior to COVID-19, Plumas County’s unemployment rate was double that of the state and 19 percent of the population in Plumas County identified as food insecure versus 14 percent in the rest of the state (CHA, 2016.)

Lost Sierra is seeking funding from the community to triple the number of shares offered this season and extend the amount of time they are offered. The organization hopes to provide produce for 15 weeks to 30 Plumas County families in need. Those who are able to donate are encouraged to go to: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/support-local-food-access-for-low-income-plumas-county-community-members1

About farm bucks and seasonal farm stand:

The Lost Sierra Food Project is selling farm bucks that can be used at its weekly farm stand, which is scheduled every Tuesday, from 5 – 7 p.m. from June 23 – Oct. 6. The purchase of farm bucks will help Lost Sierra cover essential costs required for growing food and helps subsidize the cost of free and reduced cost farm shares.

Plant fundraiser June 2

A plant start fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, from 4 – 6 p.m. at the farm. There will be hot peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, parsley, cilantro, strawberries, black cherry tomatoes, edible flowers, ground cherries, eggplant, and more available. This is a great opportunity to check out the farm, purchase some plant starts and produce, and learn more about Lost Sierra’s work. All proceeds help support programs.

Appreciate the donation

Lost Sierra appreciates Pangaea restaurant for donating its iconic three-door sticker fridge to the farm. There is now an honor-system farm stand, so that individuals can shop for produce whenever it’s convenient. The fridge will be restocked as needed, and the hope is that it will be used so that produce doesn’t go to waste! An honor-system binder includes all necessary information.

 

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