Hillside Farm

In the Sierra Foothills by Columbia, California

Sierra Organic Hillside Farm has been growing new independent farmers, along with great food for 27 years. In a great location of a sunny growing and fun rural environment just north of Yosemite National Park. We've been a small organic farm producing food for the local Motherlode Region adjacent to Columbia State Historic Park. As a community farm, we have both sages from the neighborhood and live-in tenants aspiring to their own farm. Intense summers grow sweet vegetables. Fall and Spring grow cooler weather crops and winters too are very productive, especially in the greenhouse.

The foothills of California's Sierra Nevada are rich with 49er gold, sun, and activities. The High Sierra are surrounding with winter skiing, summer hiking, and rafting/kayaking/boating are surrounding with 7 nationally designated Wilderness Areas, Wild Scenic Rivers, forests, and Parks in the county. 38 inches of annual average rain provides ample water while summers are often cloudless. There are 12 acres of fields, orchards, hillside terraces, and the upper "wilderness".

Started in 1994, Steve Payne was the first farm manager. He built the soils and local markets. He married, became a farm teacher at Sacramento Waldorf Schools, and raised a crop of children.

In 2004-2006, Mark ran an experimental farm project with UC Davis Agriculture extension to show the viability of growing oil crops for BioDiesel: GrowGas: Dryland farming Safflower in the Sierra Foothills

2008 brought on a host of new local farmers from Nutt'n Flat Farm, Monnette, and Richard.

In 2011 new farm manager came aboard, Jonathan Anderson. He married, more children and earned enough to start his own farm in 2016: Hawk'n Faox Farm.

Since 2017, owners Mark and Sharon have been living the farm and now in 2021 are looking for a new Farm Manager who wants to move organic growing and community involvement into a future of high productivity and diversity. Mixing traditional, hi-tech, and greenhouse growing techniques with social and educational involvement. We want to make this is profitable, sustainable and fulfilling opportunity for the right person/people.

Same view Spring to Summer

The old barn is from the 1800s. . Supposedly Schilling spice company started here by growing French Tarragon.

Safflower was grown during the drought years of 2007 and 2008 to successfully demonstrate the potential of dry-farming oil crops for biodiesel. Millions of acres of unused and under-utilized foothill land surrounding California's central valley could grow hundreds of millions of gallons of oil to contribute to America's energy independence. See story on YouTube.

Hillside Farm has had several farmers over the years. Starting in 1994 the land was beautifully developed into the oasis it is now.

Growing Safflower for Biodiesel

Growing on the Hillside turning dry barren land into productive fields was developed by Jonathan

Farm house