Six festive farm events to attend this summer and fall

Photos courtesy of the Center for Land-Based Learning
Dinner is served at the Center for Land-Based Learning's annual feast at the Farm on Putah Creek.

As America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento has no shortage of agricultural bounty and verdant countryside, and this summer and fall bring plenty of chances take advantage of this heritage. From grape stomping and wine tasting to dinners under the stars, here are six events to get down on the farm.

Dinner on the Farm

July 15 Three miles east of downtown Winters, the Farm on Putah Creek is the lush site of the Center for Land-Based Learning’s 8th annual plein air dinner. This year, Stazi Dulman, former executive chef of Nola in Palo Alto and the current executive chef at Nugget Markets, will prepare the five-course meal using fresh ingredients from local purveyors like Green Almond Farm in Winters, Hearty Fork Farm in Dixon and Six O'Clock Farm in West Sacramento to create dishes like eggplant “caviar” crostini, chilled melon soup and grilled leg of lamb with tabbouleh, minted aioli, roasted fingerling potatoes and Costata Romanesco zucchini. Under the glow of twinkling lights strung onto the trees overhead, cap the night with chef Dulman’s trifle dessert with seasonal berries, pound cake, diplomat cream and tart cherry coulis. $125. 6-9 p.m. The Farm on Putah Creek. 5265 Putah Creek Rd. Winters. 530-795-1520.

High Tea on the Farm

July 15 | Aug. 19 | Sept. 3 This series of elegant tea parties set in the peaceful apple orchards of the 125-acre Harris Tree Farm in Apple Hill is the perfect reprieve from the Sacramento Valley’s summer heat. Sisters and co-owners Pam and Jane Harris will serve homemade baked goods and tea (such as lavender, English breakfast and peach varieties) in vintage teacups their mother and grandmother owned. Spoon a dollop of sweet cream on apricot scones, four-berry turnovers and mini blueberry crisps, or snack on savory items like deviled eggs and cucumber roll-ups, all prepared using produce grown on the bucolic farm, which was founded in 1852. $20 ($15 for children 12 and under). 2-4 p.m. Harris Tree Farm. 2640 Blair Rd. Pollock Pines. 530-644-2194.

Dance the night away at the Capay Tomato Festival. (Photo by Bill Goidell)

Capay Tomato Festival

July 22 The Barsotti and Barnes families, who own and operate Capay Organic, will open up their 350-acre farm to the public for this 10th annual festival in the rolling Capay Valley hills, celebrating their summer crop of colorful, ripe tomatoes. Vote for your favorite of the six to 10 varieties of heirloom and cherry tomatoes, sample olive oil and honey, take a ride on a tractor tram and listen to live music from rootsy country band The Golden Cadillacs. Little ones can harvest cherry tomatoes, visit barnyard animals at a petting zoo and get their faces painted. And if you’re still hungry after those tomato samples, grab a bite from the on-site pizza oven or from food trucks like Tacos 911 and Cali Love. $20 before July 22 ($25 at the door; free for children 12 and under). $35 online campsite reservation ($40 at the door). 3-11 p.m. Capay Organic. 23800 State Hwy. 16. Capay.

Capay Crush

Sept. 16 Channel your inner Lucy Ricardo and check grape stomping off of your bucket list at this 7th annual event at Capay Organic, about a 50-minute scenic drive from Sacramento. After dancing in the grape vats, guests can sample pours from local vineyards and wineries like Old Sugar Mill, Séka Hills, Matchbook and Capay Valley Vineyard, then go on a farm tour, take some selfies at a photo booth, or watch acts like San Francisco bluegrass and blues band Dirty Cello, Roseville rocker Ryan Hernandez, and local sextet Hot City Jazz. The event will also feature fresh fruit from Capay Organic’s farm and fare from Tacos 911. $15 ($20 at the door; free for kids 12 and under). 4-9 p.m. Capay Organic. 23808 State Hwy. 16. Capay. 800-796-6009.

Flower fields forever at Soil Born Farm's Autumn Equinox Celebration (Photo by Joan Cusick)

Autumn Equinox Celebration

Sept. 16 Spend this Saturday night in September stargazing at Soil Born Farms' 55-acre ranch along the American River and mingling with some of the region’s top chefs, like Paragary’s Kurt Spataro and The Waterboy’s Rick Mahan. At the 15th annual fête, you can dig into local fare like carnitas tacos from Centro Cocina Mexicana and pizza from Federalist Public House while sipping beer from Sierra Nevada. Bands like Mind X Quartet and Millington Strings will play throughout the evening, and when the sun goes down, Placerville’s Community Observatory will whip out high-powered telescopes for guests to gaze into the galaxies. $75. 5:30-9:30 p.m. American River Ranch. 2140 Chase Dr. Rancho Cordova. 363-9685.

Hoes Down Harvest Festival

Oct. 7-8 At this 30th annual two-day festival at Full Belly Farm near Winters, you can learn how to milk a cow, shear sheep, prune fruit trees and make compost at hands-on agricultural workshops. If you get hungry after playing farmer, visit the all-day market for freshly picked melons and apples, or grab ice cream from Straus Family Creamery, popsicles from Fat Face and apple galettes from Brentwood’s Frog Hollow Family Farm. Regional breweries and cideries will be on hand to pour sudsy pints, and there will be contra dancing and live music from dozens of acts like Sonoma-based jazz band Dixie Giants well into the evening. On Sunday, de-stress with a yoga class, go for a hike through Cache Creek Canyon or take cheese-making and flower-arranging classes. $5-$35 (free for kids under 2). 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Full Belly Farm. 16090 County Rd. 43. Guinda. 800-791-2110.

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