When it came to the soil, local farmers and vintners did better than the 49ers. After the frantic first years of the California Gold Rush, most gold miners, with more dreams than common sense, dug, then moved on, eager for the next gold strike. But more patient folks, thinking beyond the glitter in a gold pan, stayed and tilled the soil. Many succeeded, and in the process their agriculture transformed the Coloma-Lotus valley and the hills beyond.
Ranching families have thrived in the area for over 150 years, supplying California and neighboring Nevada with basic food needs. These generations of families held the community together and are part of the landscape and heritage of this community.
Farms, Ranches and Related Supplies
Produce, Orchards and Gardens
Asparagus Farm – One of the best-kept secrets of the Coloma-Lotus area is the small asparagus farm a few miles north of town on Hwy 49. In the spring and early summer, look for their sign at the turnoff to Venezio winery.
Gold Hill Olive Oil Tasting – Beautifully bottled varietal and flavored olive oils in a pastoral setting on Gold Hill Road. You’ll also find gourmet kitchen utensils and accessories, specialty foods, jewelry and other gift items. Tasting room open Friday-Sunday 10-4.
Graham’s Pear Shed – This historic farm on Cold Springs Road, just south of Gold Hill, used to offer delicious pears in the fall and cherries in the spring. Now their primary crops are walnuts and mandarin oranges.
Hooverville Orchards – Just off Highway 49 a few miles south of Coloma, is a worthy detour. Stop in for lemons, oranges, apples, pears, peaches and yummy homemade berry or apple pies. Hooverville supplies much fruit to the better-known Apple Hill area east of Placerville.
Lotus Bonsai Nursery – Wander the showcase gardens through fountains and elegant bonsai. Mature trees, seedlings, pots and supplies for sale. Sign up for workshops or tree-finding trips and build your own masterpiece. Appointments are recommended.
Marchini Ranch – Located just south of Coloma on Highway 49, the Ranch produces some of the sweetest peaches in the state. Hours are irregular; keep your eyes open for their sign.