Early fall rains may have forced the banquet indoors, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm for our region’s delicious bounty served at the recent 100-mile Harvest Dinner. The event, which featured local foods, wine, music, art, and experiences, raised almost $20,000 for the Tehama County Branding project.
The original setting for the dinner was under a canopy of stars among the walnut trees of the Bianchi Ranch in Dairyville. Host Ann Bianchi joked about her disappointment that weather moved the banquet indoors to the Fidelity Bank building before sharing the history of her family farm.
The Bianchi Ranch is one of many small farms and farming corporations that make our region known for walnuts, apples, rice, almonds, prunes, pistachios and other agricultural products. The banquet featured fresh salad from Turri farms, chicken and hubbard squash soup from the Eidman Family Farms. The soup was uniquely served in natural pumpkin tureen from Julia’s Farm, rice from Ludberg Family Farms with walnuts from the Bianchi Orchards, Manton apples, and local lemons for the glaze on the chicken. Before dinner, guests sampled local cheeses, olive oils, stuffed date and fig appetizers, and wines from Manton wineries.
Winemaking is a rapidly growing industry in Tehama County. Alger’s, Indian Peak, Cedar Crest, Ringtail, and New Clairvaux Vineyards are highly regarded for flavorful wines and beautiful vineyards. Local wineries are winning prestigious awards, and are becoming popular tourist destinations.
Tourism was the theme of the event’s auction, which featured local experiences that attract visitors to our area from around the world. These experiences included a helicopter ride to Anselmo vineyard for an overnight stay, trail rides, a day of spa pampering in Red Bluff, a stay at Drakesbad Guest Ranch, and a boating outing on the Sacramento river.
“Promoting tourism and our county’s assets is the major objective of Branding Tehama County,” said Suzanne Muench, who led the organization of the 100-Mile Harvest Dinner to raise money for the branding project.
Branding Tehama County is an ambitious, strategic marketing campaign to attract tourism by promoting all the benefits the area offers including natural resources, agricultural diversity, shops, and entertainment venues. “Increased tourism will put more cash into our local economy, and will provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Muench. “Studies show tourism-friendly cities spawn non-tourism industries faster than cities that do not promote tourism. With a stronger economy, we all benefit through increased job and business opportunities.”
Muench is just one of the many individuals, businesses, and organizations dedicating time and resources to make the project a success. In addition to those already mentioned, major contributors to the 100-mile dinner included PJ Helicopters, Moule’s Tehama County Glass, Brandon and Kate Grissom, Andy Adams and Kristin Behrens, Rocking M Ranch, Mark Griffith and Lynn Kenny, Dr. Ron Clark and Susan Clark, Jaime Means, Richard and Debbie Cogswell of Executive Pool and Spa, Compassionate Health Center, Cutting Loose Salon, Debi Stuh, Health Center Acupuncture, Rio Skin and Body Works, and The Spa Downstairs, Rolling Hills Casino and St. Elizabeth Community Hospital.
The Tehama County Branding Project is a movement in response to an opportunity and desire to improve the economic prosperity of Tehama County and its anchor communities of Red Bluff, Manton and Corning. Branding: economic prosperity is a community investment in a journey of discovery and the development of activities, enhancements and new business opportunities that reinforce our community assets lend to the greater community prosperity and create loyalty beyond reason.
-from press release
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