Living in California, I think it’s safe to safe to say we’re surrounded by some of the best grapes around. And though grapes are great eaten fresh, if you’re like me, you think about grapes as wine. You see them hanging in the lush vineyards and wonder, when will that be pressed and ready to drink?


Freshly picked grapes

Read more: Off the Vine: Wine Harvest 2018


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August is a beautiful month that feels like the beginning of the end. With summer drawing to a close and autumn slowly creeping in (pumpkin-scented candles have already hit the shelves, as if we wouldn’t notice), it’s time to take advantage of the last of the summer fruits and feast on pears, cucumbers, and plums. Seasonal produce is just better. As much as I like a tropical guava in the middle of winter, there is nothing like seasonal pumpkin soup when golden leaves cover the ground outside.

Read more: What’s in season: Savor Late Summer Flavors

Bite into a crisp summer salad with these recipes.


On a recent trip to my neighborhood farmers’ market, I saw a woman carrying a bundle of deep purple beets tucked between her forearm and bicep. The beet greens were strikingly healthy, bigger than both palms of my hands and such a beautiful bright-green color with vibrant pink veins. It was at this moment when I had a craving for one of my most favorite summer dishes, a raw beet salad with julienned beet greens, sprinkles of goat cheese, diced walnuts, and a homemade orange vinaigrette. Simple and delicious.

Red beet


Read more: Summer salads

PLEASE NOTE: This blog post features an event that has already passed. Visit Granlibakken's website for future events.


At the Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival at Granlibakken TahoeAshley Aarti Cooper will be leading a forest-bathing, or shinrin-yoku, hike through the abundant forests that surround Granlibakken Tahoe in North Lake Tahoe.

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When you walk into the forest, do you see a city of trees? Or do you see an ecosystem teeming with life both observable and microscopic? What you might not recognize immediately is the healing power of the forest — as a place to foster deeper connections with your sense of self, the world at large, and Mother Earth to arrive at a harmonious state of physical and mental well-being.

Read more: 5 Ways You Can Benefit From the Healing Power of Forest Bathing


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The bounty on display at the Oak Park Farmers’ Market in Sacramento. Photo courtesy of Oak Park Farmers’ Market

Open-air farmers’ markets bring the bounty of seasonal harvests from the farms to the people. Farmers who sell baskets and bundles of homegrown fruits and veggies oftentimes pick a majority of the fresh produce on display early that morning, which ensures the crunchiest carrots and juiciest berries are up for grabs each week.


Read more: Farmers' Market Guide – Discover the Bounty of Sacramento


7 tips for turning an urban area into a garden oasis.

Spring has sprung, and you’re itching to get your green thumb into some dirt, but perhaps your spatial situation isn’t conducive to your gardening goals.

Fear not: If you have a wall or eave, or just a minimal amount of space, outdoors or in, you too can plant things this spring. Small spaces actually can be great for growing a multitude of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and even fruits, as they’re generally easy to maintain. Imagine getting all of your weeding and watering done simply by standing and spinning in a slow circle.

Hanging garden

Read more: Grow Big Flavors in Small Spaces


Sacramento’s Mediterranean climate makes for such a long growing season when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables sewn throughout the region. For Daylin Wade, a farmer and herbalist with Riverhill Farm in Nevada City, working the soil and watching plants grow is the heart of her life’s work, and she happily shares her wealth of knowledge during the various classes she teaches on gardening and medicinal herbs at Soil Born Farms in Rancho Cordova.

“I enjoy being outdoors and being able to grow food that is of high quality, and just seeing the whole process through from planting a seed to harvesting the vegetable and eating it,” Wade says.

Read more: How to plant an edible garden at home


Photos by Jana Hendler Photography

When it comes to breakfast, there is next to nothing in this world that will distract me from my syrup-drenched pancakes … but then, I’ve never before been to a drag show over brunch.

On Sun., March 4, Sacramento’s Grand Ballroom will transform into the Glam Ballroom for the LGBT Community Center’s 6th annual Mama’s Makin’ Bacon, which goes to show some people really know how to raise money for a good cause.

“We’ve got Sacramento’s premier drag performers,” says Patrick Harbison, board member of the LGBT Community Center and the event’s emcee.

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The 2017 Mama’s Makin’ Bacon Drag Brunch. From left, Glenda Corcoran, George Raya, Ted Lindstrom, Carlos Marquez, Alison Hastings, Mae Moua, Tre Borden, Brett Anderson, Johnathan Cameron, Paul Domemoore Crouch, Natalie Fujikawa, David Heitstuman and Patrick Harbison at the Grand Ballroom

Read more: The Mama’s Makin’ Bacon Drag Brunch is back!

Our favorite time of year in Amador Wine Country.


Photos courtesy of Amador Vintners Association

Winter provides a bit of a lull for those of us in the wine industry. Vines fall into a dormant state, conserving energy and resources for the long winter days. Cellar workers quietly monitor the precious nectar of the gods they put into barrels after last year’s harvest. The air is still and quiet, and many winemakers and grape growers, like their vines, use the time to recharge in preparation for the upcoming growing season.

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Amador County grapevines taking a winter break


Read more: A look Behind the Cellar Door

Throw your diets out the window – at least through Jan. 21 – because Dine Downtown is back!

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Sacramento’s favorite culinary celebration returns for its 13th year with more than 30 of Downtown and Midtown’s top restaurants offering special 3-course menus for just $35.

Read more: Dine Downtown Restaurant Week is Back!