WNC News & Notes: Specialty Crop Institute holding events

It’s harvest season in Northern Nevada, and farmers, chefs and brewers are celebrating with “Supper in the Street” in downtown Sparks. The community is invited.

The farm-to-fork supper will be held on Sept. 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Victorian Square in downtown Sparks. Attendees will enjoy a supper served family style on Victorian Avenue, seated alongside the farmers and ranchers who contributed to the meal. Regular tickets are $40 per person, and VIP tickets with fast pass seating are $55 per person. Details and reservations are available at http://www.wnc.edu/specialty-crop- institute/.

Chef James Garza of Great Basin Brewing Company is creating the menu for the event, sourcing from local farms and ranches. Steamship beef and beer sausage are two items Garza has on the menu. While sourcing from local farms has its challenges, Garza said the flavor and satisfaction from using local farmers can’t be beaten.

“I just sourced a hog from Holley Family Farms, and our meat purveyor Sierra Meats will add Great Basin beer to make a special sausage for the event. And the beef will be from Baker Ranch Brewery Beef. Their animals are fed brewery grain, which is a byproduct from our beer-making process. It’s full circle,” Garza said.

Event organizer Ann Louhela of Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute explained the event was created as a casual supper, served family style on the street, unlike many farm-to-fork dinners that are formal, plated dinners. The supper will serve 150 attendees, all sitting at one community dining table.

“We want to send the message that local food is accessible to everyone, and we should be serving it on our breakfast, dinner, supper tables,” Louhela said. “Local food shouldn’t just be for special occasions. It’s easy to incorporate into every day meals.”

“Supper in the Street” is produced by Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute in collaboration with Great Basin Brewing Company and 39 North Downtown to promote the value of local farms and businesses. For more information, contact Louhela, 775-250-1339 or ann.louhela@wnc.edu.

Hoop House Production workshop planned

As harvest season winds down, farmers will be returning to the classroom to learn new techniques and trends for crop production.

Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute will offer a Hoop House Production workshop on Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the WNC Fallon Campus, 160 Campus Way in Fallon. The cost is $35 if registered by Sept. 30 and $45 after this date. Lunch is included. Online registration is available at www.wnc.edu/specialty-crop-institute.

Taught by a seasoned professional with a background in research and commercial production, the workshop is ideal for intermediate or advanced growers. Attendees will learn about best practices that apply to all hoop house production; eight most profitable crops; best practices for vining, fruiting and leafy crops; and advanced practices and techniques for hoop house production.

Featured speaker Andrew Mefferd of One Drop Farm spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. He also worked on farms in six states across the United States before starting his own farm in Maine. Mefferd now is the editor and publisher of Growing for Market magazine and is the author of The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook.

For information, contact Ann Louhela, 775-250-1339 or ann.louhela@wnc.edu.


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