Bring on the dirty dishes

It's been a couple of years now since Mayor Kevin Johnson proclaimed Sacramento the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the country, and now we're officially on to our second local-food movement alliteration: dirt-to-dish. Ahead of the official Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall on Saturday, September 26, the Handle District Dirt-to-Dish Block Party will be kicking off the celebration on Sunday, September 20, with a gaggle of local restaurants providing free eats and drinks on L Street between 18th and 19th streets from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Vendors include Zocalo, Aioli Bodega Española, 58 Degrees and Holding Co., Mulvaney's Building and Loan, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, Buckhorn Grill and a number of others.

The pièce de résistance, however, is the Farm 2 Fork Bacon Fest Showdown, wherein chef Patrick Mulvaney will face off with chef Chris Jarosz of Broderick in an attempt to find out whose bacon (and lamb bacon!) reigns supreme. Bacon Fest Sacramento will also be giving away a pair of tickets to the annual Chef's Challenge (details TBD) every half hour. The block party is free, but donations to Plates, a nonprofit dedicated to providing culinary skills to the homeless with the aim of getting them off the street, are encouraged. Attendees must be over 21 and RSVPs can be made at

For those looking to go beyond the party vibes of the Handle District and really get their hands dirty, the University of California Cooperative Extension Yolo County is presenting a workshop on growing vegetables suitable for our winter climate. Learn how to start seeds indoors and about soil health, in addition to the subtleties of what effect adding Sacramento River water to the Davis water system will have. The workshop takes place at the Central Park Garden at Third and B streets in Davis on Saturday, September 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. More information can be found at