Organizers are encouraging families to bring children to the Sierra Valley Art + Ag Trail on September 29.
“This is so much more than a typical art show,” said event organizer, Kristi Jamason. “There are games, activities and all manner of farm animals to see, occasionally pet, and some you can even feed.”
Farm Animal Fun
Friendly Sierra Valley Yaks really love their snacks. Owners Greg and Jenna Gatto of Calpine have trained their herd of yaks to come running at the sound of the treat bucket being shaken. For the Art + Ag Trail, the yaks will be visiting the Lost Marbles Ranch, waiting for admirers to reach into the bucket and offer a snack.
At the Lemon Canyon Ranch outside Sierraville, organic Jersey cow Elsie loves to be fed green Sierra Valley apples, according to owners Kristina and Benoit de Korsak, who run the Sierraville Micro Dairy. Elsie will have her new calf, Léon, alongside her for the Art + Ag Trail, and a bucket of green apples nearby for help with snacking.
Local 4H clubs will have an “opportunity farm” set up at the Roberti Ranch site, offering visitors the chance to see and touch farm animals and ask questions of 4H members and their parents.
Harvey Farms & Forestry near Calpine will offer an opportunity to see alpacas, Pangora goats, several kinds of sheep, and their newest addition – Scottish Highland Cattle – while learning all about wool production, from animal to finished product. Visitors can try their hand at needle felting, spinning with a drop or support spindle, weaving, carding and picking fiber.
Autumn Produce Fun
If a trip through Lil’Megs Pumpkin Patch in Beckwourth doesn’t get you in the mood for fall, you are surely immune. Chock full of pumpkins, gourds and more, the diminutive Patch offers games, fun photo opportunities, fresh baked treats and a Lil’ corn maze for kids. Lil’Megs will also host artists, including Ingrid Burke of Elliptical Sunrise, who will have glass “gems” on hand for kids.
The Sierra Valley Grange knows how to leverage a mountain harvest of apples. In addition to selling homemade apple pie by the slice, the Grangers will have their apple press set up at the Grange Hall in Vinton and invite the public to try their hand at pressing apples into juice.
Kristina de Korsak, who runs the Sierraville Micro Kitchen, will have delicious pastries for sale and Fun with Fall Fruit activities at the historic Sierraville School site.
Trivia and Games
Also at the Sierraville School, Sierra County Historical Society member will be dressed in period costumes and will have “jumprope jingles,” museum artifacts to identify, and old-school classroom exams.
Stop on by the Feather River Land Trust’s Sierra Valley Preserve on County Road A-24 to test your bird brain with Plumas Audubon Society. Audubon members will have three games set up for feathered fun including a Grebe race track, a bird ID magnetic matching game and their “Jepbirdy” spinning wheel fun facts challenge. Audubon will also have species-specific nesting boxes for sale, so the fun and learning can continue back at home.
Art Activities and More
For kids wanting to express some artistic flare, Kristi Bell of Golden Poppy Goods will have mixed media art projects for kids at the Milton Gottardi Museum site in Loyalton. Also at the museum, volunteers will be running their 26’ x 8’ model train through a miniature replica of Loyalton’s 1940 Main Street area, with period dairy ranch, sawmill, box factory and timber cutting/logging camp scenes.
Passports for the Ages
The Sierra Valley Art + Ag Trail organizers expanded their passport activity last year to include a kids’ version. The event passport is a full-color booklet featuring beautiful photos from Sierra Valley. All exhibitors along the Trail have custom rubber stamps made just for them to stamp the passports, which are $20 and a fundraiser for the event.
“The first year of the event, kids were passing scraps of paper to the artists to get them stamped, so we decided to create a free ‘Junior passport’ with images to color and places for kids to collect stamps, too,” said Jamason. The Junior Passport features wildlife, farm scenes, quilt squares and more to color in the car ride between sites along the trail.
The Sierra Valley Art + Ag Trail is an event of the Sierra County Arts Council. The Art + Ag Trail will be taking place at 14 locations this year, with more than 60 artists and organizations participating. Visitors are encouraged to begin at one of three Trailhead locations – Sierra Valley Farms in Beckwourth, Sierra Valley Grange in Vinton and the Sierraville School – where printed maps will be available. Passports, dinner tickets and more are now on sale. Visit SierraValleyArtAgTrail.org for more information.
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