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Celebrate citrus at Mountain Mandarin Festival

Popular event features tons of fresh fruit and more

Placer-grown fresh mandarins are plentiful this year. Buy them in bags or gift baskets.

Placer-grown fresh mandarins are plentiful this year. Buy them in bags or gift baskets.

Photo courtesy Mountain Mandarin Festival

Here’s an annual event with plenty of local zest: The Mountain Mandarin Festival.

Starting Friday, enjoy the three-day citrus celebration at the 29th Mountain Mandarin Festival at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

“Live and in person,” proclaim the festival’s organizers. The popular event returned in 2021 after a year off due to Covid precautions. In 2019, the festival attracted more than 30,000 patrons over its three-day run and a similar crowd is expected this weekend.

“Placer County growers will sell thousands of pounds of fresh mandarin oranges and gift baskets, accompanied by all the free samples you like,” say the organizers. “Join in the fun with food, artisan crafts, and activities featuring the mandarin orange and music!”

This year, there will be plenty of fruit to enjoy. Tons of fresh Placer-grown mandarins are ready for the event as well as countless mandarin-related products.

Scores of farmers and other vendors will be on hand, offering their locally grown fruit and other products. Snack on mandarin-flavored treats. Enjoy live music and performances at the main stage.

“Thousands of filled orange mesh bags (of mandarins) await and jams, jellies, infused olive oils, balsamic vinegar, barbecue sauces and body care products are all available for purchase,” say the organizers. “Visitors are delighted to discover that the food vendors offer everything from mandarin pizza to mandarin glazed wings, mandarin doughnuts and mandarin pulled pork, just to name a few.”

In addition, Placer County master gardeners will staff a booth on Saturday and Sunday. Get your 2023 garden guide!

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18; 9 a.m. to 5 pm. Saturday, Nov. 19; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20.

General admission is $10; children age 11 and younger are admitted free. Seniors: $7. Friday discount admission: $5.

Gold Country Fairgrounds is located at 209 Fairgate Road, Auburn.

For tickets and details:

-- Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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