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Fundraising Village Feast goes virtual again

Free registration open for event to support women in food and agriculture

The Village Feast will feature an online auction Oct. 9, hosted by Sacramento members of  Les Dames d'Escoffier. (Photo courtesy Les Dames Sacramento)

Here’s your chance to feast like a Dame – and support women who work in food and agriculture.

Registration is now open for the Village Feast, a farm-to-fork celebration of Northern California’s bounty and the contributions of women to food and drink. This major fundraiser is hosted by the Sacramento chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International – the top organization devoted to women in the food and beverage industry. (Full disclosure: I’m a member.) Proceeds go towards scholarships and training to support women who want to pursue careers in food, wine, agriculture and related fields.

In past years, the Village Feast included an actual sit-down communal dinner for 350 people, held at Davis Central Park. But due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Feast’s format had to pivot to something different.

For the second consecutive year, the Village Feast will be “virtual,” held primarily online. Festivities will be live from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. No tickets are sold; all proceeds come from the auction or direct donations.

Registration is free to participate in Virtual Village Feast fun including the amazing online auction. In addition, participants may order pre-cooked meals or farm-fresh boxes inspired by the Village Feast spirit.

To register, go to on Eventbrite. Registration gives you access to information on ordering your Village Feast-inspired meals.

The auction is now live online with more items being added all week. Follow this link, , to view the Dames’ collection filled with food and drink, fabulous experiences, get-aways, and arts and crafts.

Registering to bid is easy; just click the link provided on the auction's home page. The auction will continue through Oct. 9, closing after the Feast’s live session.

Among the auction items:

* Yolo County Tours, Tasting & Lunch, donated by Dames Amina Harris and Mary Kimball.

* Wine & Cheese Pairing for Eight donated by Dame Roxanne O’Brien and Sommelier Keith Fergel (of Taylor’s Kitchen).

* The Complete Picnic for Six (including a custom-made picnic blanket for the winner), donated by Chef Jonathan Moon.

* Cheese & Bubbles Session for Four, donated by Dame Sara Arbabian.

* Nugget Market Gift Basket.

* Gift baskets packed with homemade jams, jellies, chutney, preserves and other goodies from the Dames’ own kitchens.

Questions? Email co-chairperson Rachael Levine at or call 530-304-6467.

More about Sacramento’s Les Dames: .


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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