“This content is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Community Outreach programs, but views and thoughts are my own.”
This week is the one year anniversary of my move to Newcastle – a small town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. I’ve always lived in the city – not big cities, but city, nevertheless. At first, I must say I was a bit nervous, but my husband, who grew up living in the country, assured me I would love it. He was right – I love my small town. Of course, I’m only a short freeway drive to all the advantages of the city, so I have the best of both worlds. I’d love to share some reasons to love a small town, and Why I’m #MyTownProud with my 1878 Farmhouse!
From the beginning, I noticed the extreme friendliness of my small town. Folks were eager to talk to me and ask about the historic home we bought. It was built in 1878 and our street is named for the first owners/builders of the home. It’s considered an 1870’s farmhouse. (I wish the farm was still there). When we first looked at the home, there were many historic photos of the home, the home’s builder and the town, featured throughout the house. Knowing the home was steeped in history contributed to us falling in love with the house.
As the year progressed and we made some changes to the house, or put out seasonal decorations, the locals would make sure to stop and comment and again congratulate us on our home purchase. We felt welcomed and warmly embraced by our small town. Rural communities are places that people are proud to be from and live in. The Monsanto Fund celebrates these communities and invests to make them even more vibrant for future generations through America’s Farmers Community Outreach. A new campaign sponsored by the programs called My Town will continue this celebration of the people, places and stories that make small towns great.
Among the many perks of a small town like mine is that they pull together for annual events. My favorite, so far, was the hometown Christmas event – just a few blocks from my house, in the center of town. I think the whole town turned out and it was a great evening to socialize, feel the spirit of the season and experience some good ol’ Christmas Cheer.
Another of my favorite things about my small town is the abundance of local agriculture. The Sacramento Valley is known as the breadbasket of the nation and the foothills are contributors to the produce market. Newcastle got its start as a town just down the hill from the gold fields. Then when that began to play out the early settlers found new gold in the favorable growing conditions. Newcastle became a fruit packing hub. Sadly, as with many small towns throughout America, progress moved the packing industry to the bigger cities. Many small towns began to fail with the advance of modern times, but Newcastle found its niche and became well known for the many productive small farms and ranches growing mandarin oranges, peaches, apples and honey.
Newcastle in known for a historic produce market in the center of town that carries local produce along with many of the local products made from the harvest – jams, jellies, syrups, salsas, marinades – you name it. It’s fun to create gift baskets with locally made products or just gift a jar of jam or salsa to a friend. Local products always spark a conversation and the recipient feels a warm fuzzy from something made or grown in my new hometown.
There is a proud sense of community that you find in small towns. I’ve found there’s an artisanal spirit abundant in my small town and people are drawn to the area, even for just a day to get out of the city, enjoy the fresh air, fresh produce and local products. I find that’s the spirit America was built on and made us great.
Join in the spirit of sharing what you love about your town, on social media with #MyTownProud. I’d also encourage you to follow the My Town campaign on AmericasFarmers.com and on the America’s Farmers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages.