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California State Fair features ‘The Farm’

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POSTED July 18, 2012 11:23 p.m.

SACRAMENTO –“The Farm”, located at the south end of the fairgrounds behind Building B is a scene to dazzle the senses.  

For all 18 days of the California State Fair, discover and explore this idyllic landscape replete with the distant hum of bees, sculpted rows of crops and thousands of vibrant flowers.  There is even an old tractor and pickup truck that are hydroseeded to look like giant Chia vehicles. “The Farm” will inspire home gardeners, nature-lovers and foodies alike.

“The Farm” has more than 80 crops planted on 3 ½ acres.  These include: cotton, rice, lettuce, milo, tomatoes, wine grapes, field corn, cotton, zucchini, kiwi and fruit trees. This year, the surplus produce will be donated each week to a local food bank.

New this year are QR codes, which will lead people to sites where they can learn more about the crop, insect or agriculture in general. “My favorite part is that fairgoers now can share their experience in “The Farm” with their friends and join us on Facebook,” says Utility Shop Supervisor Nancy Koch.

Some of the featured attractions are:

• The Aquaculture Fish Experience showcases sturgeon, catfish, bass, carp and koi.  Between 2:30 and 5:30 pm daily, visitors will have the opportunity to pet the fish.

• The Insect Pavilion features snakes, spiders and insects that hunt garden pests!  At 1:30, 4:30 and 7 pm daily one of the critters will be brought out for a live feeding depending on the crowd.

• The Certified Farmers Market, which started in 2006, is run by volunteers from Friends of the California State Fair. It is a great place to stock up on fresh produce or just enjoy a healthy snack or juice on a hot afternoon.

• AgVentureland is the place to try your hand at cinching and saddling, cow milking, music making, farm chores and farm dress-up.  Also featured is Farmyard Babies– entry is free and a handful of feed is 25 cents.  Farmhands Trail Ride is $6.

 The U.C. Sacramento County Master Gardeners will be available to answer any questions about water-efficient landscapes, pest management, composting, pruning techniques and growing edible crops.

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