Peacefully planted beyond the doors of the Capital Public Radio building at Sacramento State is an inviting space covered with vibrant, leafy green and yellow vegetables, blossoming apple trees and happily humming honeybee colonies.
The CapRadio Garden sprouted out of an idea from Craig McMurray, CapRadio director of foundation and corporate development, in 2014 to directly address some major environmental issues, such as water, land use, nutrition, conservation and wildlife.
The olive industry in California, one of the world’s newest regions of olive growth, has developed into a flourishing agricultural field. In the Sacramento area especially, olive tree yields and production have grown dramatically within the last 20 years.
When the water tower off of Interstate 5 changed its trademark to “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” in 2017, replacing its longstanding “City of Trees” identity, it stirred debate among many Sacramentans. Was this just another attempt at rebranding the city at a time when mega arenas such as the Golden 1 Center were underway, which might propel Sacramento into a true destination for tourists?
In Sacramento, farmers market season is pretty much year-round. But in May, many seasonal open-air markets really start to sprout. With dozens of choices to snag sun-kissed berries and crisp veggies, I wanted to share my favorite markets to visit throughout the farm-to-fork capital. Each market has its own unique features, especially those that blend artisan vendors with local farm stands.
When husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Ellen Chen and Mario Del Pero—owners of Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market, which opened its first Sacramento location at the Ice Blocks in December—were dating, Chen asked her boyfriend an unusual question. She asked if she could work for him.
Del Pero, a Yuba City native, was hard at work developing a food concept in Southern California (where he and Chen had gone to school) when Chen’s consulting business was acquired.
The bucolic 10-acre property owned by Earl and Adriana Stephens was just an empty cattle pasture when Earl purchased it in 2006, three years before he met his future wife at a farmers market. Thirteen years later, that once barren land now boasts a house, a working farm and one of the most unique craft breweries in the state. All three were designed by Earl, a licensed engineer, and largely built from scratch by Earl and Adriana, the owners of Dueling Dogs Brewing Co. in Lincoln.