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Fall farm activities Saturday at Soil Born

Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch is kid-friendly. Families can spend Saturday at the Farm this weekend. (Photo:
Kathy Morrison)

Rancho Cordova site hosts day of family fun

The fall weather's still lovely, perfect for a family outing this weekend. And Sacramento-area residents won't have to go far to find a good spot.

Soil Born Farms, the urban agriculture and education project, opens its American River Ranch in Rancho Cordova this Saturday, Nov. 16, for Saturday at the Farm.

The events run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature music by Doug Newton, plus a variety of free kids activities: creating seed mosaics in the Activity Tent, building fairy and gnome homes in the Enchanted Garden, and making music on the instrument fence in Li'l Sproutville. The site offers plenty of room for kids to play and explore, too.

The Soil Born Culinary Arts team will hold a fundraiser, offering Indian red lentil soup and kale-roasted squash salad served with garlic naan. Their creations will be available at the Farmhouse Kitchen window starting at 10 a.m. until sold out.

Other foods and beverage will be available at Phoebe's Tea & Snack Bar, including baked goods from Old Soul Co. and various pies from Sacramento's Real Pie Company.

Gardeners can find organic seeds, seasonal veggie and flower starts, herbs, fruit trees and handcrafted garden boxes at the Greenhouse Garden Shop. The Farmstand also will be open, with a large selection of farm produce, including herbs, many kinds of winter squash, Pink Lady apples, pomegranates and persimmons. And anyone working through their holiday gift list can browse the garden tools and other items at Milly's Mercantile.

If you like to start your day off with a brisk walk, on Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. Soil Born also offers a bird walk with naturalist Cliff Hawley. There's still time to sign up on their
website ; cost for the bird walk is $10.

American River Ranch is at 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. Biking or walking to the ranch is encouraged. There is parking nearby, but be prepared to walk in; comfortable shoes are a must.

-- Kathy Morrison


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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