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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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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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