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Farm to Fork

Farm-to-Fork Month on a Budget: Experience the Best of Sacramento for Less

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Here we are in the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America, and September is Farm-to-Fork Month, where local businesses come together to host beautiful dinners, special farm-to-fork menus, and a variety of food-centric events celebrating our rich farm fresh heritage. But if money is tight this month you might be feeling like the highlight-of-the-year month is passing you by without being able to experience the flavors of the season.

Not to worry. Farm-to-Fork Month has plenty to offer for every budget so that everyone is able to take part in the indulgences of the month. Take advantage of the free festivals, fresh produce, budgetary menus and easy opportunities to get your hands on some the best food in Sacramento.

farm-to-fork-festival
Photo by California Rice Commission/CC Flickr

Farm-to-Fork Festival

After a month of farm to fork dinners and events galore, Farm-to-Fork month culminates in the biggest event of them: the Farm-to-Fork Festival. In addition to being a huge food-centered festival, making the event even better is admission to this exciting event being free. Taking over the Capitol Mall this Saturday, the festival not only features local food and drink vendors, but it also boasts live music, interactive booths with farms, and five live cooking demonstration stages. Check out the ambiance and learn a cooking trick or two with this more-than-affordable event. The festival will decend on Downtown Sacramento from 11am-6pm, September 24.

Farmers Markets

davis-farmers-market
Davis Farmers Market tomatoes. Photo by John Onate/CC Flickr.

One of the best farmers markets in the country is only twenty minutes away from Sacramento. With a multitude of vendors and plenty of meal options to choose from, the Davis Farmers Market is a great choice for families and young adults alike looking for a Saturday farm to fork shopping excursion.

If Saturdays don’t work for you, Davis offers another option that combines produce, good eats, and music. Picnic in the Park, a miniature Farmer’s Market with an emphasis on community camaraderie, takes place every Wednesday through October 26 at Central Park (401 C Street) from 4:30-8:30pm. Be sure to bring cash and a blanket and check out live music and local restaurants serving up portable versions of their meals. Produce vendors will still be selling but there will be less options than on Saturday mornings.

Tip: Be sure to check out student favorites Apple a Day juice and Fat Face popsicles, only available in Davis.

Too busy on the weekends to grab fresh produce? Accidentally slept in? Don’t worry, there are plenty of weekday options for Farmers Markets in Sacramento. Write out your menu beforehand and check out these locations to scout ingredients for your own farm to fork dinner.

Tuesday

  • Fremont Park Farmer’s Market10- 1:30pm through Sep. 29. Located at 16th and P Streets, Sacramento.
  • Roosevelt Park Farmer’s Market10-1:30pm through Sep. 29. Located at 9th and P Streets, Sacramento.

Wednesday

  • Cesar Chavez Plaza Farmer’s Market10-1:30pm through Oct. 28. Located at 10th and J Streets, Sacramento.

Thursday

  • Capitol Mall Farmer’s Market10-1:30pm through Sep. 24. Located between 5th and 6th on Capitol Mall.
  • Florin Farmer’s Market8-noon year-round. Located at Florin and 65th St, Sacramento.
  • UC Davis Health Systems Farmers Market3-7:30pm through October. Located at 45th Street at Y Street, Sacramento.

Sacramento is booming with Farmer’s Markets both seasonal and year round. Check out a full list of weekday and weekend markets here.

Tip: Don’t worry about sleeping in….sometimes produce is marked down in price towards the end of  the day. But try to get there early to get the best of the bunch.

hook-and-ladder
Courtesy of Hook & Ladder

Restaurant Weeks on a Budget

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to experience incredible farm-to-fork food at some of Sacramento’s best restaurants. Over 50 restaurants are participating in this year’s Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks (Sep. 8-25), and while going all out and over the top is easy to do when perusing any of the restaurant’s fantastic menus, there are still a multitude of dining options under $15 and even $10.

How about DeVere’s Lamb BLT ($12), River City Brewing Company’s Pear and Prosciutto Flat Bread Pizza ($15), Capitol Bowl’s Tri Tip Street Tacos ($5), the Red Rabbit’s Grilled Watermelon Salad ($9), the Waffle Experience’s Jimmy a Greek Waffle ($12), Hook & Ladder’s Braised Five Dot Short Rib Sandwich ($13), Nido’s Roasted Vegetable Plate ($7), or Masullo’s menu that shows from which farms/regions the ingredients come ($6-16). Should we go on? Check out all the participating restaurants and their menus at farmtofork.com.

Able to extend the budget to $30 for a stellar 3-course meal? Restaurants including Ten22, The Porch, and Seasons 52 offer farm to fork prix-fixe menus for under $30.

Featured photo by rk_pix/CC Flickr

Farm-to-Fork Month on a Budget: Experience the Best of Sacramento for Less via @sacramentopress

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