East Sac Edible

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East Sacramento Farmer’s Market Begins!

Help support the East Sacramento Farmer’s Market by stopping by this Saturday April 4 in McKinley Park! This will mark the second season of our market. I’ve been helping organize the market this year and I am really excited to be involved. You can find out more information at the market’s website here. Also click contact if you want to join the mailing list!



A Great Day for Gardens and Charity: Edible Garden Tour

DSC_2835Despite the extremely hot weather yesterday, we had a great time hosting our garden as part of the Edible Garden Tour. Our garden was open from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and we were the 5th house out of 6 on the tour. The day before there was a flurry of activity at my house to prepare. Each house on the tour was paired with a local business to embellish the gardens such as a florist, or garden shops. Our sponsored business is a store called Haus which is a home decor and gift shop. On Friday, their team brought over pumpkins and lanterns for an autumnal theme on the front porch. They also staged my back patio table with table settings and hung garden themed art along my side walkway. My most favorite addition was the Welcome to East Sacramento sign that they hung on my back fence.DSC_2839 DSC_2840DSC_2828 DSC_2830 DSC_2831 DSC_2832 DSC_2836 DSC_2838

The day before the tour I worked on some labels for my plants. I thought about how I wanted to label my plants for a long time and finally came up with a solution. Plant stake labels requires the viewer to crouch down low to read the label and I wanted labels to be closer to eye level if they could. I found these plain wooden tags at a craft store. Because I was unsure how the pen would hold up on the wood, I also got smaller tags on which to write the varieties of plants and then taped them together. These labels I hung from the plants. If plants were closer to ground level, I had a huge pack of leftover drip line stakes that I used to clothes pin my labels.

I tried to write the different varieties of plants on my labels because gardeners should know what varieties do well in the East Sac area. If they are looking at my squash and think it is doing great in our climate then they should also know the variety. Also I tried to give some information on the labels to inform my guests as to why I might be keeping a dying looking plant up in my landscape. For drying beans, I explained that I was saving seeds. I think the labels really added to the experience of the guests and brought their attention to plants that may be providing me food but currently had no evidence of food such as my Apple trees, blueberry bushes or pineapple guavas.
DSC_2827DSC_2842DSC_2874DSC_2870DSC_2871DSC_2873Also on Friday I set up a harvest table, displaying some of my harvest. I included some of the squashes that I have picked, onions, garlic, peppers dried from last year, seeds and some of my canned and pickled goods. The Monster Squash made an appearance on the table and was a hit with the guests!

DSC_2846We were up bright and early on Saturday morning (4:30 am!) to put the last finishing touches in the garden and sweep the pathways. The Soroptimist ladies arrived to set up their table, the Master Gardener came early to tour the garden so they would be able to answer guests’ questions and Bill, the trumpet player from Sacramento Symphonic Winds set up his area. DSC_2844 DSC_2875DSC_2845 DSC_2848

Hundreds of people walked through my garden yesterday and I had a great time talking to everyone. I met some neighbors who are also growing their own food and it is inspiring to hear what everyone else was trying in the neighborhood (one man I talked to said he was trying to grow saffron in East Sac!). I think I may have met some new best friends yesterday (ok ok… gardening best friends!).

Here were some common questions about my garden with links to posts:

If I talked to you during the tour and you are local, feel free to contact me for seed swaps, plants, cuttings, or harvest trades! I really enjoyed talking to everyone! Thanks for coming out and bearing the heat! It was a great day for gardeners and for charity too!

Also I got to sneak away for a little bit during the middle of the tour to check out two of the houses near me. I visited houses #4 and #6 on the tour and snapped a few pictures. Here are a few from Garden #4: Grandma’s Secret Cottage Garden.DSC_2854 DSC_2855 DSC_2856 DSC_2857 DSC_2858 DSC_2861 DSC_2862

And here are a few photos from Garden #6: The Whimsical Garden. This garden had a complete food forest growing in the front yard but I failed to take a picture.DSC_2852 DSC_2853Hope everyone is having a great weekend!




Big News: East Sac Edible Gardens Tour!


Every year the Soroptimist International of Sacramento puts on a fundraising event called the East Sacramento Edible Gardens Tour where 6 gardens are featured.

And guess who’s house will be on the 2014 tour? MINE!!!

Since I moved to Sacramento I have gone on the last two tours. It is one of my favorite East Sac events because it has to do with edible gardens. There are plenty of other house tours in Sacramento but this one is dedicated to people growing food. They have a master gardener stationed at each house and musicians from Sacramento Symphonic Winds to provide lovely music as you stroll through the gardens.

Soroptimist International of Sacramento puts on this event as their fundraiser and proceeds go to support women and children in the Sacramento community. This year’s tour proceeds will go to the St. John’s Shelter Program for Real Change which helps mothers in crisis to improve their quality of life and enrich the lives of their families. The garden tour funds will directly support their Employment Readiness Program to help mothers gain and maintain employment. The second charity is Sierra Forever Families which works helps foster children connect with nurturing permanent families. The garden tour funds will directly support Camp Wonder where foster youth connect with adult mentors. So if you go on the tour you can feel good that your dollars are going to help our community.

Did I mention that MY HOUSE is going to be on the tour??

I told my husband that this is the best thing to happen to me all year! I am really very excited about it.

Hope you can make it! Here are the tour details or you can click here:

Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 10AM-4PM.

Here are some pictures I took of the tour last year:

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Straw as Mulch

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I found a source for straw in East Sac where you can get both straw bales and bagged straw. The store is called Western Feed and Pet Supply and if you ask for the bagged straw they bag it for you right there and then. Isn’t the reusable bag it comes in cute?

For Halloween I bought hay bales for seating for a pumpkin carving party we hosted. I thought that I could use the bales for mulch around the garden afterwards. Unfortunately I bought hay and not straw. Hay has seeds in it. Straw does not. Even though I never put the hay on my garden, just transporting them to the backyard created a pathway of seeds around my garden. Wind carried seeds pretty far too. And then a gang of squirrels attacked the hay bales when they sprouted after a rain. I am still plucking out rogue hay plants sprouting up everywhere. Fortunately they are very easy to pull out but it sure is a pain.

Lesson learned. Buy straw.

If you are trying to be water-wise during this California drought, mulch is a great way to conserve water because it retains water moisture and helps moderate soil temperatures. Mulching lessens water evaporation from the soil, reducing the need to water. Not only that but it also helps keep down weeds. For plants like strawberries, melons and squashes, straw mulch also provides for a clean surface on which the fruit can lay. Also, as the mulch breaks down over time, it gives back to your soil.

I have never used straw as a mulch before so I am excited to see how my garden responds. I hope that I can keep my plants well hydrated while using as little water as I can this summer. Sacramento summer sun can be scorching so I hope my vegetables will be cozy in their mulch beds. I am also curious to see if straw will help keep slugs and snails away. I haven’t read anything about this so I will be on the look out for slug trails where I have mulched with straw.


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Big News: East Sac Farmer’s Market!

East Sac finally has its own farmer’s market! Ever since moving here two years ago I have always felt that our neighborhood needs its own market. Now it is finally here. I walked to the debut farmer’s market yesterday. The market is much, much smaller than the  Sunday Sacramento farmer’s market but it was lovely. There were fruit, vegetable, fish, honey, pasta, bread, mushroom, flower and a juice stand. The only thing missing for me was a coffee stand and egg stand but I am sure they are to come. There were probably only 10 tents so it is quite small but pretty much has everything you want. Also everything was LOCAL.This is such a great contribution to our community!

Here are the market details:

Year round on Saturday mornings 8:00 am-1:00 pm at 35th Street and Park Way in McKinley Park next to the Shepard Garden and Art Center.

DSC_1597We put all of our veggies from the farmer’s market (minus the goat’s milk) to make a birthday basket for a 1 year old. What better way to celebrate a baby’s first birthday other than to give organic, fresh fruit and veggies?