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Soil Born hosts family fun day, farm style

Soil Born Farms' American River Ranch hosts a special family event.
(Photo: Courtesy Soil Born Farms)
Special event includes farm stand, tastings, workshop and more

Take the kids down to the farm and find some spring inspiration.

Soil Born Farms’ American River Ranch, Sacramento’s oldest continuously working farm, hosts “Saturday at the Farm: Signs of Spring,” from 9 a.m. To 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.

There’s free fun for kids of all ages plus a pop-up produce stand, brimming with late-winter harvest.

For a small fee ($10), the “Bread & Butter” family workshop shows how farmers made these staples from scratch, starting with whole grains grown on the ranch and whole milk. Participants will help grind wheat and gather herbs as well as enjoy the final product, fresh baked bread and homemade butter. This workshop is open to children, age 5 and up, as well as adults. (Register in advance online at or call 916-363-9685.)

Several free talks and demonstrations will be presented including how to prepare seasonal vegetables (with free tastings from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and fruit tree care (at 12:30 p.m.). A peasant’s lunch ($8) will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Take guided tours to see native plants and wildlife as well as the working farm.

Soil Born’s American River Ranch is located at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. For more details and directions: .

- Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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