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Smoke won't cancel Soil Born's fall sale, clinic

American River Ranch hosts free events Saturday morning

Farm site with blue sky
Soil Born Farms in Rancho Cordova will be busy Saturday morning before temperatures climb. (Photo courtesy of Soil Born Farms)

Smoke or no smoke, Soil Born Farms’ popular fall gardening clinic and plant sale will go on.

Set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, this free event at American River Ranch features workshops, farm tours and garden walks. Several hands-on opportunities will be available for kids.

In addition, the event includes a huge organic plant sale stocked with cool-season vegetables, fruit trees and herbs. Customers may order plants online in advance at the farm's online marketplace and pick up Saturday by appointment via the farm's Drive-Through. Fresh produce and local products also are available for pre-order and pick-up at the farm.

Sacramento County’s oldest continuing working farm, American River Ranch is located at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. Details, directions and plant ordering information online at .

Poor air quality due to wildfires and heat may restrict some planned outdoor activities. According to the National Weather Service, Saturday’s Sacramento forecast calls for widespread haze and an afternoon high of 102.

But overnight lows Friday night will keep Saturday morning comfortable. Plan on getting out to the farm early!

With Covid-19 still surging, face masks are encouraged for any event, including outdoors. (An N95 or similar face mask helps protect against smoky air as well as virus.)

Attendance for workshops and tours are limited. Get your free tickets at the Purple Class Check-in Tent on Saturday morning. Here’s the schedule:


8:15 a.m. -- Preparing a Fall Garden with Shawn Harrison, Soil Born Farms

9:30 a.m. – Gardening with Native Plants with Mark Shaffer, California Native Plant Society

10:45 a.m. – Raising Backyard Chickens with Greg Howes & Brian Fikes, Two Flew the Coop

Noon – Fall Fruit Tree Planting & Care with Shawn Harrison, Soil Born Farms

Walks & Talks

8 a.m. -- Pollinator Garden Walk & Talk with Cliff Hawley, Naturalist

8 a.m. – Explore Cordova Creek Walk & Talk with Shannon Hardwicke, Educator

9 a.m. – Farm Tour with Tyler Stowers, Farmer

10 a.m. – Herb Walk & Talk with Kellan MacKay, Herbalist

Art, Music & Snacks

9 a.m.-noon – Music by Millington Strings

9 a.m.-noon – Garden Art for Sale from Snoring Orange Studio and The Garden Chica

8 a.m.-noon -- Phoebe’s Tea & Snack Bar


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

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