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Learn to make herb-infused syrups, honeys

Soil Born Farms hosts special workshop Saturday focusing on preserving flavors of homegrown herbs

Lavender can be used to flavor a wide range of food and drink via infused syrup or honey.

Lavender can be used to flavor a wide range of food and drink via infused syrup or honey.

Debbie Arrington

Got herbs? Then, this class is for you.

On Saturday morning, May 6, Soil Born Farms will host a special workshop, “Making Herbal Simple Syrups and Infused Honeys from the Garden.”

Kellan MacKay, owner of Khela Herbs, will show how to use your homegrown herbs to flavor food and drink year round. The in-person workshop will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Soil Born’s American River Ranch in Rancho Cordova.

“If you have perennial herbs in your garden, chances are they are coming into their first bloom in May or June; thyme, oregano, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lavender, and rose geranium are just a few possibilities,” say the organizers. “But what do you do with it all when you cut it back?

“One option is to make a simple syrup flavored with them or to infuse honey and stockpile it for winter wellness and gift-giving. Understanding the basic techniques around making shelf-stable syrups and infused honey creates a myriad of possibilities for instant tea, kicked-up mocktails, and more.”

Spaces are still available for this workshop ($30). Advance registration is required:

Soil Born’s American River Ranch is located at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. Before or after class, check out this working farm and its demonstration gardens.

More details and directions:


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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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