Apr 17, 2010 9:43 PM
Nuts, wine, music, and art; you could find it all at the New California Nut Festival! More than 500 people came to the Historic Patrick Ranch Museum in Chico to try products grown and made here in the North State. "We get a lot of local companies and they can talk to the people that make the sauces, the marinades, the nuts, all the flavors; they can actually see how it's all done," California Nut Festival Chair Kathy Chance said.
Chance says most people are not aware there are so many crops grown locally. "I didn't think there would be this number of vendors showing their goods and they have a great variety and just an amazing assortment of things you can taste and try and it's been a great experience," participant Grant Kephart stated.
Besides the great taste of locally grown food, all those crops generate millions of dollars to the local economy. There were a variety of almond vendors at the festival. The number two crop in Butte County brought in more than eighty-six million dollars in 2008.
Rice is the number one crop, followed by almonds and walnuts are right behind. The crop made more than eighty-two million dollars in 2008. "A lot of nuts are exported, so it's really good for the California economy and in Butte County it's huge," Chance stated.
The Red Barn Walnut Company was one of more than thirty vendors at the festival. The local business has been operating for more than fifteen years! "Our primary product is the Chandler walnut, which is a very light walnut half, very mild and it's a desirable, high end walnut and we're very proud of it," Marc Hazel explained.
This was the first time the event was held on just one day, typically the event is spread over two weeks. Money raised at the event benefits the Patrick Ranch Museum. Event organizers say they hope to make around ten-thousand dollars.
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