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Around Marin County

  • Our small county had a big year in ag!  Read about it in the Marin County 2011 Crop Report and access past crop reports here.  Watch a summary of the record production for Marin's ranches and farms -

  • USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grants available for application until October 15.  They are designed to help agricultural producers enter into value-added production, with the goals of new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income.  Beginning farmers or ranchers and small or medium-sized farms or ranches structured as family farms may receive priority - apply today!

  • Congratulations to our local California Artisan Cheese Guild cheesemakers' great showing at the 2012 American Cheese Society annual judging in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Cowgirl Creamery, Marin French Cheese Company, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, and Straus Family Creamery all brought home awards.  It was the largest competition yet, with 254 companies from the U.S., Canada, and Central America submitting 1,711 different products.  See a full roster of winners from the 2012 Judging and Competition.

  • Congratulations also to Cow Track Ranch for winning the following awards at this year's County Fair: lettuce 1st place and best of show, lavender 1st place, chives 1st place, parsley 1st place, Lavender soap 1st place, easter egg potatoes 1st place, and rosemary 3rd place - all certified organic.

  • U pick apples and pears are back!  Harvest your own organic apples and pears at Chileno Valley Ranch every Sunday in September and October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Bring the kids and join a ranch tour to see the animals.  The ranch is also offering training to volunteer docents to educate kids in animal ways.

  • Check out the biannual giant plant sale at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden September 22-23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Come for farm tours, food tastings, live music, a gardening workshop and of course, lots of organic vegetable starts, perennial flowers, herbs, fruits trees, and produce for sale!

  • Tara Firma Farms is hosting their annual Pumpkins on Pikes fall festival!  Bring the whole family to this pumpkin carving extravaganza on Saturday October 27, from 2 pm on.  Tickets are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com.

  • Two new cost studies have just been published on pear production - Sample Costs to Establish and Produce Pears North Coast, by Rachel B. Elkins, Karen M. Klonsky and Kabir P. Tumber, and Sample Costs to Produce Organic Pears Sacramento Valley, by Chuck A. Ingels and Karen M. Klonsky.

  • Check out the new Grown in Marin factsheet on Agritourism in Marin prepared by Ellie Rilla.  Find information on everything from farm leases to cheesemaking to on-farm food processing and more in these and other factsheets.

  • For those of you who missed the photographic exhibit of Marin's Agrarian Roots through the lens of Marin's first Farm Advisor M.B. Boissevain's insightful photographs that premiered at the 2012 Marin County Fair, the exhibit will be showing at Toby's for the month of October.

  • College of Marin is introducing a new Foods and Culture segment of its Community Education course offerings, featuring classes on topics including home food preservation, hands-on cheesemaking, and wine tasting fundamentals.

  • Like UC Cooperative Extension on Facebook for more regular updates about what's happening in Marin County.