Rundown: Sacramento Farm-to-Fork Festival 2015
By Laura Braden
This Saturday (September 26) marks the third annual Farm-to-Fork Festival (Facebook, Twitter) – the culmination of a month-long celebration of the region’s culinary and agricultural community. From food/wine/beer vendors and kids’ activities to cooking demos and live music, there’s a reason this festival attracts 40,000+ peeps from around the world. Here’s what you need to know:
- 11:00am-6:00pm at Capitol Mall (5th and Capitol Mall)
- Hashtag: #SacFarm2Fork
- Admission to the festival is free; food and drinks are available for purchase
- Complimentary bike valet available
- Hotel Packages
- Parking (But definitely consider walking/biking/taking Uber or Lyft!)
And while some haters in the community like to poke fun at the movement, it’s a movement none the less that has changed how we consume food and beverages locally.
#SacFarm2Fork isn’t some faux marketing campaign dreamed up to encourage tourism. The Farm-to-Fork moniker is the REALITY of the abundance of produce, meat, flowers, beer and wine that flows from the Sacramento region. It’s easy to take this for granted, but all it takes is one trip to a typical grocery store in Washington, DC or Tennessee to see how lucky we are to have options that are fresh, affordable and local. A few fun facts:
- No major city in America is more centrally located amid such a vast range of high-quality farms, ranches and vineyards.
- Sacramento is home to one of the largest California Certified Farmers’ Markets in the state and offers the most ethnically diversified market in both produce and customer demographics.
- The Sacramento region also has more than 40 farmers markets, many of them year-round fixtures.
- The Sacramento region contains 1.5 million acres of regional farmland and 8,000 acres of boutique farms, and 70 percent of the region’s land is agricultural, forest or other open space.
- Sacramento’s Mediterranean climate produces some of the nation’s most diverse and high-quality crops year-round.
You can view the full event rundown at FarmToFork.com, but here are my top five picks for the festival:
1. Mission of Farm-to-Fork Panel Discussion (Paragary Demo Stage at 3:30pm)
Paragary Restaurant Group and Produce Express are hosting a series of panel discussions that range from preserving late summer produce to the leaders behind the #SacFarm2Fork movement. I’ll be cheering on my fave food advocate Amber Stott (Founder of the Food Literacy Center), Soil Born Farms and Center for Land-Based Learning as they discuss the various goals and objectives behind the movement.
2. Brett Dennen (Main Stage at 5:00pm)
OMG Brett Dennen is performing at #SacFarm2Fork!!!! I first saw him live at Outside Lands in 2009, and he’s phenomenal. Originally from Oakdale, Brett’s sound is a mix of folk and pop – perfect for any laid back, outdoor setting. Check out She’s Mine and Darling Do Not Fear to see if you like his vibe. Bonus? He just released a wine label featuring a sparkling rose. #Twofer
3. All the Noms
The list of food offerings is long and diverse, but I’m making a beeline for Brass Clover (cold brewed coffee), Cornflower Creamery (artisan ice cream), Granola Girl Food Truck (organic granola, energy bars and juices), Miz Shirley Marie’s Cuisine (soul/creole food) and Slightly Skewed (grilled Asian street food). Commence stomach growl….now.
4. Two Rivers Cider and Amador County Wines
And I’m going to need plenty of libations to wash down all that food (beer list, wine list). Not really into beer so I’m stoked Two Rivers Cider is in the house – really hoping they have blood orange or pomegranate on tap. For wines, I’m sticking with Amador County – my favorite local wine region still reeling from recent fires. Be sure to check out Andis Wines, Vino Noceto and Uphill Vineyards.
5. Raley’s Booth Featuring Hands-On Sustainable Activities
I hate DIY/Pinterest, have a black thumb and can barely cook – a real modern domestic goddess. 😉 – so I’ll be hitting up Raley’s booth. In addition to fresh local produce, they’ll teach the community about composting, making a seedling planter box using old newspapers, and making smoothies on a people-powered bike.
Want more? Check out GOTG’s past #FarmToFork coverage.