Califonia Bountiful

Small town forms the heart of pear country

The Sacramento Delta's pear district can boast to being the world's most extensive plantings of pears.

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Sacramento is known for many things—a rich culinary scene, unique scenery, and a wealth of history. Just a stone's throw away from California's capital those words describe another Central Valley city—the agricultural oasis known as Courtland. Along the Sacramento River Delta, as Forty Niners came searching for riches during the Gold Rush, some found riches in farming. Now it's up to people like Tim Neuharth to keep that history alive by farming the land that has given him and his family so much.

Tim along with his wife, Laura, his two sons, Zach and Michael, and his 81-year-old mom Lucielle, all care for the most recognizable crops along the delta these days—pears. He has approximately 55 acres of pears, all of which thrive in this rich agricultural land.

The Sacramento Delta's pear district can boast to being the world's most extensive plantings of pears. Most have gone to the canning industry in years past, but Tim's pears go to the fresh market, to the juice industry and to baby food. Always striving to do more, Tim is hoping to turn this farming area into an educational oasis for visitors of all ages.

"We're slowly transitioning to agritourism to get people to come and enjoy the farm and see what goes on in agriculture. Ag-education is a big thing on farms these days to let people know where their food comes from and how it gets to their tables so they can enjoy it," Tim said.

Educating people is made easier when you also entertain them, which is what the Pear Fair aims to do each year. The event is an annual one in Courtland, as this tight-knit community pays homage to its past—through what else but pear food and fun!

Patrick Mulvaney, a Sacrmento-area chef enjoys the fruit that made the delta famous. His restaurant, Mulvaney's Building and Loan, has become a popular hangout for folks hoping to take advantage of Patricks's culinary consciousness—the more seasonal and local, the better.

And while pears may have a sweet history in this area, the people of Courtland and Sacramento will tell you, it's the future that's ripe for success!

For more information about Patrick Mulvaney's Restaurant,visit

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