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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 Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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