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'Farm to Fork' on wheels at Sacramento County Fair


The wheelbarrow gardens created by schools and other student groups will be on display during the Sacramento County Fair at Cal Expo. (Photo courtesy Sacramento County Fair)

Wheelbarrow gardens teach about food

You can haul a lot of learning in a wheelbarrow.

See plenty of examples during a memorable exhibit at the Sacramento County Fair, which opens Thursday for its annual five-day run at Cal Expo.

On display will be several wheelbarrows turned into mobile gardens and planted by local students. Called "Farm Garden in a Wheelbarrow," the program provides free wheelbarrows to public, private or charter schools, preschools, home school groups, after-school programs and 4-H clubs. Teachers also get free soil, seeds and teaching materials to create a portable salad garden.

Designed to help teach how food grows, the wheelbarrow gardens can be rolled in and out of classrooms, allowing planting and seed sprouting indoors before being transferred outside. Salad greens, radishes, onions and other spring veggies grow fast, keeping even young kids engaged. Most of the wheelbarrows on display were planted in February.

As for the fair itself, Sacramento celebrates Memorial Day weekend with a wide range of entertainment, from monster trucks to bull riding to live concerts. This year's theme: "Let's Eat, Have Fun and Celebrate the Red, White and Blue."

Admission is $8; children under 12 years admitted free. Parking is $10. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, May 23-26, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.
Cal Expo is located at 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. Details: www.sacfair.com .

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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