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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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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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