I love this time of year. The kids are getting old enough now to play on their own outside, which is great when I need to get a little gardening done. They like to help, but only have a limited attention span so when they are done helping me out, they can go and play in the yard. I love going camping and am excited to get my kids out for their first tent experience. There are so many great camping places around this area, the possibilities are endless. Another thing we love doing in the summer is going to our local farms and farmers markets and making many delicious recipes. We have found many great local organic farmers in our area and we love all the fresh seasonal fruits and veggies. In this post I'd like to give you a few links to our favorite places to visit in the summer if you are in the local area.
Another great area that we'd go to was all around Plumas County, CA; specifically in the Lakes Basin Recreational Area between Sierra City and Graeagle, California, along Gold Lake Road. There are dozens of lakes, ponds, streams, and creeks in this area as well as many campgrounds, cabins, and lodges to stay at. We loved camping at spots like Chapman Creek campground and going fishing in the surrounding creeks or going to Upper/Lower Sardine Lake, Gold Lake, or Packer Lake to go fishing. We'd go swimming in Sand Pond or eat burgers at Bassetts Station and go hiking up to the Sierra Buttes (which was quite the experience for me, hiking all the way to the lookout tower, considering I'm terrified of heights). Another great thing about these areas is you don't need a lot of money to go enjoy them. Big bonus if you have a limited budget! It's also just a short drive from the Reno/Sparks area, so these make great weekend trips.
While we lived in Las Vegas, it was a little more difficult to get out and camp (especially if you were looking for places near lakes and rivers). We'd usually drive about 3-4 hours up to Duck Creek Village, Utah, which is a beautiful area as well. There were quite a few lakes and trails in this area to fish, hike, and ride ATVs. We'd also go camping out at Dumont Dunes in California and ride ATVs. It was quite a challenge to tent camp out there as there is no running water. You definitely need a motor home or trailer when camping out here. But there was still many good times and memories with friends and family to be had. I'm very much looking forward to sharing these great memories (and making new ones) with my kids now and in the future.
Farms & Farmer's Markets
One of the things I love, is coming home from the markets and looking at my kids' faces, which are usually covered in some sort of fruity mess from them trying all the fruit samples the vendors are giving out.
Here is a list of some of our favorite local farmers too. When you get a chance, get out and see them for yourself!
- From The Earth - Located in Washoe Valley, NV. Betty and Ron have been longtime family friends and we were very excited to see them growing bigger and providing great local, organic, and heirloom variety foods (fruits, vegetables, eggs, and fowl) to area restaurants and residents. Stop by and give them a "Like" on Facebook and take a tour of their farm. We are still enjoying some of our 24lb turkey from them from Thanksgiving (by way of canned turkey broth). They have amazing eggs and produce as well. Their girls are quite spoiled!
- Lattin Farms - Located in Fallon, NV. This is such a fun farm! They have been around since the 1970's and are well established. We've enjoyed visiting them and enjoying all the fun activities they offer - the pumpkin maze in the fall, craft fairs, the Easter Bunny, and of course their organic vegetables and fruit.
- Midtown Farm - Located in Reno, NV. This is a relatively new farm/homestead that we've discovered. They are a great little family homestead who offer classes to youngsters about organic farming and offer fruits and vegetables, eggs, rabbit, and fowl. We picked up 5-1/2lbs of mulberries from them and enjoyed a few mulberry pies and smoothies (and still have plenty that we froze).
- Hidden Valley Honey - Located in Reno, NV. We buy this at many locations around town including Raley's and Whole Foods. I love their raw honey! I also use some of it in my skin care items.
- Joy's Honey Ranch - Located in Reno, NV. Another good local bee keeper. We love their honey too (my kids look forward to his booth at the farmer's markets to buy honey sticks). He is also another great source for me for local beeswax.
- Alpine Ranch Grass-fed Beef - Located in Fallon, NV. A great source for grass-fed beef and pastured pork. We found them last year through All Natural Nevada Food Company at the local farmers markets. I love that they raise their cattle and pigs the way they are supposed to be raised. They also deliver to Las Vegas, NV which is great for all our Vegas friends and family.
- KT Beef - Located in Loyalton, CA. Another great source for grass-fed beef. We bought a very large steer from them last year with a couple of other families and are still enjoying the meat now. I love that they also raise their cattle the way they are supposed to be raised.
- Sunny Day Organic Farms - Located in Stagecoach, NV. Another great source for organic pork. We also found them through All Natural Nevada Food Company last year at the farmers markets. They had the best pork sausage and chops!
- Carrol's Corner Truck Farm - Located in Yerington, NV. I love seeing them at the local farmer's markets! Great source for organic fruits and vegetables. I just finished making up a few batches of cilantro pesto tonight from the cilantro I bought from them this week.
- Andelin Family Farm - Located in Sparks, NV. This is another really fun farm. We visit them every year in the fall for all their family activities. They have a great pumpkin patch, horseback rides, games and activities, and a new corn maze. We have such a great time here!
- Basket Case Organics - Located in Sparks, NV. While technically not a farm, I feel they are definitely worth mentioning. We get a weekly basket delivered from them and it is awesome! Organic fruits and vegetables (and from local sources when available) delivered to your door for about the same price (if not cheaper) than what you'd find at your local grocery store. It sure cuts down on my trips to the store and their produce is great.
- Debi Gray - Located in Sparks, NV. A little shout out to another egg supplier of ours. She delivers farm fresh organic eggs to our door every week and they are so yummy. Thank you Debi!
- Heirloom Gardens - Located in Reno, NV. I don't have any personal experience with them, but I still wanted to give them a mention. I think this is a good resource for any of you out there who would like to start your own organic heirloom garden.
- Girlfarm/Grow For Me Sustainable Farm - Located in Reno, NV. Another farm that I don't have any personal experience with yet, but I'm hoping that one day that will change. I love their farming practices (organic, heirloom, sustainable) and they have some of the best Facebook updates. I love seeing all the pictures of their farm and seeing the love they have for their animals and farm.
- Hungry Mother Organics - Located in Carson City and Dayton, NV. Another farm that I don't have any personal experience with. But again, I think they are worth mentioning for more organic farms in our region.
- Quail Hollow Farm CSA - Located in Overton, NV. This is one I thought I'd throw in for my Las Vegas friends and family. Again, I don't have any personal experience with them, but if we still lived in Las Vegas, I'm sure I would know them. Just another great option for organic farms.
- Great Basin Community Food Coop - Located in Reno, NV. Another great resource in Reno for local organic food. Again, no personal experience with them yet, but hoping that will one day change.