Sierra Cascade Blueberry Farm

By MelissaWynn

As we all become more aware of where our food comes from we are trending more and more towards eating fruits and vegetables that are locally grown. Local blueberries anyone?

Sierra Cascade Blueberry Farm is nestled in the Lassen foothills east of Chico, where John & Armen Carlon have been farming 9 acres of Certified Organic blueberries (11,000 plants) on their 61 acre property, since 1989. This organic gem is truly a family farm. Carlon sons, Ryan and Will grew up here and have been involved since the beginning. They each got their hands dirty working on the farm doing anything from manual labor to management. It has a been a whole family project bringing the berries to their faithful customers year after year.

This dedicated family doesn’t just grow blueberries, they live the life and walk the talk.  As Armen says on their website “We grow organically for a number of reasons: healthy work and living environment, agricultural benefits, environmental benefits. In his 30 years of farming, John has always been concerned with the relationship between agricultural practices and the health of the environment. He has a BS in Agriculture and an MS in International Agricultural Development, which he put to use during a 5-year employment abroad in the early 80’s. He has always grown some kind of food crop annually throughout and since leaving college. John now runs a non-profit organization that restores riparian habitat on many rivers in California (River Partners), in addition to the blueberry farm.”  What an amazing neighbor!

The Carlons began researching blueberry production shortly after participating in the launch of the Chico Certified Farmer’s Market (originally called Butte County Certified Farmer’s Market) in 1980. At that time, the largest vendor at the market was the California State University, Chico, University Farm, which sold a variety of different fruits from test plots at the college farm, one of which was blueberries. It was a small plot, but the fruit looked good and was well received at the farmer’s market. After a number of years researching varieties and growing conditions, and saving money from working abroad in Saudi Arabia, they were able to find their beautiful piece of land near Forest Ranch and make their dream a reality.

With a combination of good soil, water, organic and sustainable growing practices, and careful selection of varieties that would grow in the Sierra Cascade climate, the blueberries harvested from Sierra Cascade Farm continue to be outstanding in quality and flavor.

Harvest begins in late May and early June when the first batch becomes ripe for the picking.  Sierra Cascade Blueberries are available at many local farmers markets throughout the summer season including the one in Chico at 3rd and Wall streets on Saturdays. Check with your local organic market to see if they carry these plump, juicy blueberries from Sierra Cascade Blueberry Farm. If they don’t, make a suggestion, lets support our Mountain Valley neighbors and eat local! Visit their website to learn more.

Sierra Cascade Blueberry Farm

12753 Doe Mill Road

Forest Ranch, CA 95942

(530) 894-8728

[email protected]