What makes Sacramento the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the world? A year-round growing season and ideal climate for, oh, just about 1.5 million acres of farms and ranches growing over 160 crops! But did you know that there’s a cornucopia of ways in which families and kids can dig into all this Farm-to-Fork fun? And the time is ripe since September is Farm-to-Fork month!
1. Explore Farms at the Crocker
The Crocker Art Museum is hosting several events in celebration of all things Farm-to-Fork. One particularly youth-focused affair is the Kids & Company Gallery Adventure, which is a museum tour where farms are discovered and explored through art. (They might not even notice how educational it is). Dates are: Sundays, September 3 & 17, 2017, 10:30-11:30 a.m. https://www.crockerart.org/calendar/9/17
2. Attend the Farm-to-Fork Festival: September 23
The Farm-to-Fork Festival brings us face-to-face with the people who are feeding our region and beyond. Meet farmers and ranchers, enjoy interactive booths from local grocers, and check out live cooking demonstrations. Sample some goods, sip some local beer, and listen to live music. A kids’ zone rounds this one out quite nicely. Capitol Mall. https://www.farmtofork.com/events/farmtoforkfestival/
3. Eat Out During Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Week: September 8-18
Is your kid a foodie in the making? Well, here are 10 days of special menus, deals, and events at restaurants within and around Sacramento. Meet local chefs, learn where the food comes from, then indulge in the final product. A portion of all proceeds is donated to ProStart, a two-year culinary arts and hospitality management program for California high school students. https://www.farmtofork.com/events/restaurant-week/
4. Head to Apple Hill
The farms within the foothills of apple country are loaded with fun things to do for kids of every age! You’ll find tractor rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, pony rides, craft stands, farm tours, you-pick farms, gold panning, gold mines, rubber duck races, nature trails, farm animals … and, well, Christmastime is charming too. Think holiday shopping and crisp air, hot cider and baked goods, Santa sightings and Christmas tree farms. http://applehill.com/fun-4-kids/
5. Watch a Film About Food and Family: Tampopo, September 7 *Sorry everyone, apparently this Japanese film is not as family-friendly as we thought, but great for grownups!
Tampopo is a funny film about food for the whole family that’s also been dubbed “one of the best food movies of all time.” It is co-presented with Slow Food Sacramento in honor of farm-to-fork month at the Crocker Art Museum. https://www.crockerart.org/event/1479/2017-09-07
6. Shop at Neighborhood Markets
Corti Brothers retains the old-fashioned corner grocery charm with sandwiches and ravioli that are legend among locals. In fact, true to the original recipe, their ravioli are the oldest continuously produced food product in Sacramento. 5810 Folsom Blvd.
Selland’s Market Café has been committed to the principles of Farm-to-Fork cuisine for 20 years, with many of their products and ingredients sourced locally. Monthly specials showcase pizza, salad and sandwiches. East Sacramento, Broadway and El Dorado Hills locations. http://www.sellands.com/
Taylor’s Kitchen features a seasonal menu with a focus on the fresh local foods found at Taylor’s Market. Desserts are created in-house by their own pastry chef and reservations are accepted. 2900 Freeport Blvd.
7. Go on a Farmers Market Picnic
The Wednesday farmers’ market at Cesar Chavez Park downtown is a one-stop shop for lunch al fresco. Purchase some fruit, nuts and bread for a Mediterranean-inspired picnic near the fountain. Still hungry for more? There are plenty of cafes nearby, including Farm-to-Fork bar & restaurant, La Cosecha, which is in the park itself. 10th & J.
8. Try Some Comfort Food
Dad’s Kitchen in Land Park is family friendly and locally sourced with organic chicken, grass-fed beef, homemade mac ‘n cheese, local greens, and craft beers. Pick your poison and grab a seat on the patio. Fun Fact: Dad’s was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives! 2968 Freeport Blvd.
9. Tour and Taste Some Old-Fashioned Ice Cream – Sundae FunDay
Old fashioned ice cream parlors are still beloved around these parts, and include Vic’s, Gunther’s, Burr’s, and Leatherby’s. Bonus: You can schedule a tour of Leatherby’s cream room and deep freezers where they make and store all of their ice cream and sauces. Arden Way, Citrus Heights and Elk Grove locations. https://leatherbys.net/
10. Take a Scenic Drive – Sacramento River Delta
If you have a hankering for exploration, cruising the Sacramento River Delta (along Highway 160) truly overflows with sensory delights. Wineries and breweries abound, as do olive oil and vinegar sampling stops, swimming and fishing spots, historic towns, bridges and farm equipment. How about Farm-to-Fork eateries, family farms and produce stands, pumpkin patches, and just general all-around gorgeous scenery?! Get a super handy and detailed map at sacriverdeltagrown.org.
11. Play Chef – Family Recipes
Want to take home a little slice of the proverbial Farm-to-Fork pie? Find family friendly recipes here: http://eatfarmtofork.com/cook-it-yourself-recipes/
By Melanie Noel Light