Harvest boon

Hungry? Follow the food from grower to plate.

Why is Sacramento the “Farm-to-Fork Capital of America”? It's all about the farms. Dozens of local growers supply the region's fine-dining scene with meat and just-picked produce. Sure, it can be pricey—buying locally isn't always necessarily a bargain—but chefs insist there's no better way to find high-quality, fresh ingredients. And tasting locally sourced grub is easy. Area chefs are currently working their culinary magic with produce from these farms. Check out the following picks to find what just may be the tastiest way to travel farm to fork.

Twin Peaks Orchards

Farm it: Five generations of the Enriquez family have tended this Newcastle ranch for almost 100 years. They grow apples, cherries, persimmons, citrus and peaches among other fruits and vegetables. The orchard also sells produce at various local farmers markets every week. (916) 663-3270, www.twinpeaksent.com.

Fork it: Selland’s Market-Cafe currently serves Twin Peaks’ mandarins and fuyu persimmons in a yummy fruit salad. 5340 H Street, (916) 736-3333, www.sellands.com.

Passmore Ranch

Farm it: Chefs from Sacramento’s finest restaurants swear by the fish raised at this Sloughhouse farm. The Passmore family produces rainbow trout, catfish, white sturgeon, silver carp and two species of bass. (916) 688-3900, www.passmoreranch.com.

Fork it: Try some at Mulvaney’s Building & Loan, which whips up a mouthwatering trout prepared on the griddle. 1215 19th Street, (916) 441-6022, www.mulvaneysbl.com.

Feeding Crane Farms

Farm it: This small ranch in Natomas grows 25 different crops, including squash, mixed greens, carrots and other veggies. Everything is organic. Despite being fairly new, Feeding Crane Farms already delivers produce to many of Sacramento’s most popular restaurants. (916) 698-5171, www.feedingcranefarms.com.

Fork it: David English, head chef and owner at The Press in Midtown, currently serves the farm’s butternut squash stuffed in a house-made ravioli. 1809 Capitol Avenue, (916) 444-2566, www.thepressbistro.com.

Watanabe Farms

Farm it: Love heirloom tomatoes? This West Sacramento farm grows more than 50 varieties on 7 acres. The Watanabes also produce squash, edible flowers and microgreens. (916) 798-4752.

Fork it: If you feel like splurging, The Kitchen Restaurant’s second course features a Rock Shrimp “Louie” salad with Watanabe radish tops, arugula and mizuna. Reservations only. 2225 Hurley Way, (916) 568-7171, www.thekitchenrestaurant.com.

Riverdog Farm

Farm it: Depending on the season, you can find just about anything at Riverdog Farm, a family-owned farm located in the lush Capay Valley. Beans, melons, corn, potatoes, eggplant and peppers are just a few of its crops. “I think it’s important for consumers and eaters at restaurants to know where their food is coming from,” said co-owner Trini Campbell. (530) 796-3802, http://riverdogfarm.com.

Fork it: The Waterboy makes a delicious broccoli and cauliflower salad using Riverdog produce. 2000 Capitol Avenue, (916) 498-9891, www.waterboyrestaurant.com.

Kingbird Farms

Farm it: This microfarm in Galt tends an acre of veggies, another acre of fruit trees and 150 hops plants. Yep, that’s right—beer grows here. The farm supplies local craft brewers and hobby brew-meisters. www.kingbirdjournal.com.

Fork it: Taste this farm’s produce at Magpie Café, which serves a braised pork shoulder with Kingbird quince. Magpie’s chefs also whip up heirloom polenta from the farm’s red corn. 1409 R Street, Suite 102; (916) 452-7594; www.magpiecaterers.com.

Azolla Farm

Farm it: Both of Azolla Farm’s owners once worked with legendary chef Alice Waters in Berkeley, so they know a few things about food. This Pleasant Grove farm specializes in greens such as arugula, collards and Swiss chard, along with green beans, beets, cucumbers, squash and other vegetables. http://azollafarm.blogspot.com.

Fork it: Chef Steve Toso at Biba Restaurant currently serves a roasted-beet salad for dinner made with Azolla beets and sweet onions. 2801 Capitol Avenue, (916) 455-2422, www.biba-restaurant.com.

Soil Born Farms

Farm it: This farm actually has two plots within 15 minutes of downtown Sacramento—one off of Hurley Way and the other in Rancho Cordova. Soil Born is another farm growing just about everything under the sun, including kale, herbs, lettuce, squash, potatoes, melons and beans. (916) 363-9685, www.soilborn.org.

Fork it: Chef Oliver Ridgeway often serves Soil Born tomatoes, salad greens, onions, peppers and other veggies at Grange Restaurant & Bar. Earlier this year, Ridgeway even featured the farm’s grass-fed lamb on his menu. 926 J Street, (916) 492-4450, www.grangesacramento.com.