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Find growing advice at Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork Festival

Getting up close and personal with local food, literally or fancifully,  is the whole idea of the Farm to Fork Festival,  which began in 2013. It's now a two-day event. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Master gardeners will be part of huge community event devoted to locally grown food

Growing food -- as well as eating it -- is a big part of the sixth annual Farm-to-Fork Festival, Sacramento's second largest public event behind only the State Fair.

Now in a two-day format, the festival opens from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, on Capitol Mall between Third and Fifth streets in downtown Sacramento. On Saturday, the free event expands to Eighth Street and will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Capitol Mall will be filled with demonstrations, booths and activities.
Sacramento County master gardeners will staff an information booth to answer questions about edible gardening as well as other topics. The master gardeners will also offer for sale their 2019 calendar and gardening guide dedicated to food gardening, "Saving the Harvest."

Besides lots of information on how to grow food including in containers and small spaces, the new calendar and guide ($10) includes detailed instructions and tips from the Sacramento County master food preservers on home canning, freezing and other ways to make the most out of a backyard harvest -- or farmers market finds, too.

Expect to see plenty of vendors at the festival.
Speaking of which, several vendors will offer produce and other Central Valley products for sale at the Farm-to-Fork Festival as well as always-popular free samples.

Food, beer, wine and cider will be sold, too; about 100 regional wines will be served. Four stages will be devoted to cooking demonstrations.

About 145 vendors will be on hand Saturday; 75 are scheduled for Friday's opening. Last year's festival attracted about 60,000 patrons, according to Visit Sacramento, its organizer.


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For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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