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Capay Valley Harvest: a Newsletter from Farms & Ranches around the Capay Valley
Capay Valley Harvest is a quarterly newsletter featuring products and events in the Capay Valley region and further highlighting Capay Valley Grown partners. To few the newsletters click below.
Regional Ag Calendar
June 1: CVV Ag. Task Force, 7 – 9 p.m., Esparto Library.
June 3: Capay Valley Regional Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Esparto Community Park, .
June 11: Third Annual Lavender Festival, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Cache Creek Lavender, Rumsey, .
June 15: Capay Valley Regional Farmers' Market Board Meeting, 7-9 p.m., FreeHeart Farm.
June 17-18: 4th Annual Family Farm Festival, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., The Heidrick Ag. History Center, Woodland, (530) 666-9700, .
July 1: Capay Valley Regional Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Esparto Community Park, .
July 6: CVV Ag. Task Force, 7 – 9 p.m., Esparto Library.
July 20: Capay Valley Regional Farmers' Market Board Meeting, 7-9 p.m., FreeHeart Farm.
August 3: CVV Ag. Task Force, 7-9 p.m., Esparto Library.
August 5: Capay Valley Regional Farmers’ Market, 6-9 p.m., Esparto Community Park, .
August 16-20: Yolo County Fiar, Woodland, www.yolocountyfair.net.
August 17: Capay Valley Regional Farmers' Market Board Meeting, 7-9 p.m., FreeHeart Farm.
September 2: Capay Valley Regional Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Esparto Community Park, .
September 10: A Day in the Country, Yolo Land Trust Event, (530) 795-3110, .
October 7: Hoes Down Harvest Festival, Full Belly Farm, Guinda, .
October 22: Taste of Capay, Dinner & Fundraiser for Capay Valley Vision, Taber Ranch Event Center, Capay.
Raising a Crop for the Future by Paul Muller
There are many important crops grown in the Capay Valley Region. None may be more important than the one witnessed by many in this community in Spring. Our area has a couple of important varieties of this crop. The first is most likely to be spied on the first weekend in May. Blooming beautifully in starched whites and green caps, each individual is a unique and wonderful expression of the place where it was grown and nurtured. The date of their appearance is not changed even in wet or difficult years. What is this crop? Why, it is the new crop of youth in agriculture.
Every year, for as far back as many in the community can remember, folks have been impressed by the poise, character, and enthusiasm of 4-H ers at the annual spring show. The weekend featured local youth in clean show whites, displaying the results of months of feeding, preparation and caretaking. Pigs, calves, sheep and rabbits were primped, scrubbed and shorn, and made sleek for show. The weekend is a social event, where local youth exhibit not only the product of their labors but also demonstrate the pride and knowledge gained from doing a job well. The 30 local young people participating were aided by adult leaders who helped to guide the experience, but the real work of the weekend was done by our youth, as they presented the results of their labor, cleaned stalls, competed for showmanship awards, answered questions, and shared their experience of completing their project.
The weekend of the Spring Show culminates in a sale on Sunday. A number of businesses from the EspartoCapay Valley Region were present at the sale to support local youth. The prices received for project animals reflected our community commitment to encouraging the whole process of gaining experience and responsibility by seeing a project to completion. There is a valuable type of knowledge gained when working with one's hands or with a living animal, - it is the essential understanding of process and responsibility. 4-H ers reflect the confidence gained by being well prepared and having a relationship with real time. Animals grow only so fast, and they only thrive if they are well cared for. The local 4-Hers are a crop of characters. We can be proud of their accomplishments.
The other color often seen covering local agricultural youth is the deep blue and corn gold of the Esparto FFA. In early May they have their annual awards banquet where they review the year's activities and accomplishments. The list is an impressive one. They have represented this region both on a state level and nationally, displaying poise and enthusiasm as public speakers, parliamentarians, horse judges, showmen and women, floraculturalists, ecologists, and young leaders committed to our communities. The emphasis on hands-on experience in the High School vocational agricultural education programs, extended through the FFA program, is yielding a crop of intelligent, bright, and articulate students with practical skills. We welcome their well-rounded knowledge and appreciate the skills that they so ably demonstrate. They are an asset to our community.
The regeneration of a regions economy requires that opportunities exist for the youth of the community to find a place, and invest their talents locally. We do an amazing job of growing wonderful skilled kids, watching them display their skills through High School only to often give up their amazing natures to some other fortunate community. We can actively look to create opportunities here, creating successful local businesses where they can apprentice, or where opportunities are offered to our youth to create the seeds for succession of our farms and businesses. As climate often determines the success of the crop, we can be proactive here in creating program that, like the 4-H or FFA, allows our youth to grow more deeply rooted in this place. A good harvest of new skilled, practical local leaders requires that we all think about making opportunities here.
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