Closing out the summer with a worthy celebration, Sierra Valley Farms hosted a special Barn Dinner & Concert on Sunday, Sept. 21. Executive Chefs Mike Trombetta of Farm to Belly Catering, Mark Estee of Campo and Burger Me!, and Michael Plapp prepared an incredible four-course meal that featured local organic produce from Sierra Valley Farms, Lake Tahoe crayfish, Niman Ranch beef, and wild Pacific King salmon. The sold-out dinner was served to 75 attendees in the property’s historic barn, which was built by farm owner Gary Romano’s uncle in the late 1930s. Dinner was followed by a concert by Romano’s cousin — a legendary slide and blues guitarist that has performed with the likes of Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, and The Allman Brothers Band — Johnny Vernazza, along with his band.
The benefit dinner and concert generated over $1,000 to go towards the farm’s newest initiative of installing a solar power system by Truckee’s Solar Wind Works. Online crowdfunding has allowed Romano to raise $8,000, and he’s invested $15,000 in the project, though a $12,000 rebate is expected. Romano will use the 7.1 kW solar power system for heating the greenhouses during winter, cooling the greenhouses during summer, and to power the facility for Romano’s on-site farmer’s market, the only on-farm market in California. The Barn Dinner & Benefit closed out Romano’s farmers markets and barn dinners for the summer, but he will be hard at work all winter tending to greenhouse crops and his experimental farming in a bunker 7-feet underground, all to prepare for next season.
Does our photo gallery make you hungry for another farm-to-table dinner?