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Mountain Mandarin celebration will go on, with revisions

Renamed 'Marketplace,' former festival will host both live and virtual events

Mandarin vendor
All vendors will be outdoors this year at the Mountain Mandarin Marketplace,
but no sampling will be allowed. (Photo courtesy Mountain Mandarin Marketplace)

Renamed 'Marketplace,' former festival will host both live and virtual

With COVID restrictions in place, Placer County’s beloved Mountain Mandarin celebration will go on, but with a new name and online options.

Now called “Mountain Mandarin Marketplace” (instead of Mountain Mandarin Festival), the 27th annual event will be held Friday through Sunday, Nov. 20-22, at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $4 Friday, $6 Saturday and Sunday. Children under age 12 admitted free. Parking: $3.

Attendees will be required to sign a liability waiver and must wear a face mask.

The focus will be totally on the fruit: Placer-grown mandarins. A dozen mandarin growers plus 110 vendors of mandarin-related products will be selling their crops and wares in mostly outdoor spaces.

The usual cooking demonstrations and stage shows have been canceled, but there will be lots and lots of food and gift ideas, say organizers. Plus expect a bountiful crop of early-ripening citrus.

By comparison, the 2019 festival boasted 224 vendors and 17 growers, attracting more than 25,000 patrons.

Don’t want to chance a large public gathering? A virtual version of the event is open online now through Christmas Day. About 30 Placer vendors and growers will offer their fruit and other goodies, shipped directly to your home or other recipients. The online shop is at

Event details and links: or .

— Debbie Arrington


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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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