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Spend Saturday at the Farm with Soil Born


Visit the Soil Born Farms farmstand for fresh produce during "Saturday at the Farm." (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

American River Ranch offers fun, food for all ages

Enjoy a beautiful June day while getting in touch with your inner farmer at Soil Born Farms' "Saturday at the Farm."

From 9 a.m to 1 p.m. June 8, Soil Born's American River Ranch will host a bevy of farm-style fun for all ages. Temperatures will be in the low 80s on Saturday morning; mild compared to the heat ahead. This is a great chance to experience Sacramento's oldest continually working farm and a slice of the American River Parkway, too. Admission is free.

Kids can play under the pines, explore a labyrinth made out of fava beans, learn to make music and explore the fairy and gnome garden. Crafts include how to create twig boats that float.

Stevie Mello will provide live music while visitors stroll through the farm, take part in workshops or shop the farmstead, greenhouse and gift shop.

Hungry? The Culinary Arts team is serving lunch ($8), starting at 11 a.m. All proceeds benefit the program.
Take a walk through the grounds between activities.

Speaking of cooking, learn how to make farm-fresh early summer recipes during three cooking demonstrations using Soil Born produce. Tastings and samples will be offered throughout the event.

Take home some fruits and veggies, too. According to Soil Born, available Saturday from the farmstead: Gem lettuce, Dino kale, salad mix, baby bok choy, chard, Spigariello, kohlrabi, Piracicaba broccoli, cucumbers, salad turnips, summer squash, fennel, scallions, garlic scapes, clip top garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, mulberries and cherries. Also find local honey, jams and fresh eggs.

Located on the American River, the farm also offers a chance to see native plants, wildflowers in bloom and lots of birds on self-guided walks.

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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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