Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The California State Fair 2014

I really enjoyed the California State Fair.  It ran from July 11-27th.  I got to attend three days but now wish I had gone more.  Yes there was fried food, rides, animals and let’s not forget those cinnamon rolls.   But what I really look forward to at the fair is the garden areas or anything plant related.  Even with the drought this year it was super green. And I had a blast!

Funnel Cake

The food vendors were all bright colors and large letters trying to get you to come taste their fried goodness. I saw a lot of people with funnel cakes. They were very popular!

The Farm

The Farm presented by Save Mart supermarkets was very interactive.  It’s three and a half acres is filled with over 70 different crops.  When you first enter you picked up a “passport”.  The map leads you to different stations to collect stamps and when all completed you got a free apple or orange.  You learned about California crops and healthy eating.  I loved it and so did the kids.

Cool container gardening

Vertical gardening

I loved the Urban Garden area that featured innovative container gardening.  One of my favorite displays was the painted used tires that were stacked and planted with edible crops.  These would look great in my garden and a great way to make a raised planter and recycle.  There was even a really cool little greenhouse made up of empty water bottles.

Waterwise flowers


Next to the Insect Pavilion which is always interesting was the Department of Water Resources Water Wise gardens.   They were beautiful!  But I kept looking for the succulents.  I did find some but not as many as there should have been.  I left my card and maybe next year they will give me a call to help.  Since succulents hold moisture in their leaves, stem or base they are the most water efficient plants there are.


I did see this little agave next to some Senecio Kleiniiformis.


Then I found these Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' and Senecio Blue Chalk Fingers. But there really should have been more. I talked with the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society group at our last meeting. We should get with whoever puts together the Farm area next year and help with the succulents.


Sunflower and Sunshine 

Water troughs

Usually they have rows of sunflowers and corn but because of the drought I just found a couple planted in water troughs.

Butternut squash

I think this is butternut squash but I'm not sure.

You could visit the greenhouses, talk with Master Gardeners and even learn hydroponics.  They show’d how to grow plants in sand, gravel or liquid with added nutrients.  But no soil.  It was really fantastic and the lettuce was absolutely perfect.  And the water was all recycled.  


These grapes aren't ready for picking but looked really cool.


There were rows of Watermelon, cucumber, zucchini and tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes!



Isn't this fantastic!



It was really hot on two of the three days I went to the fair.  It was in the 100'sF.  So you looked for any shade you could.  They had these pretty wisteria covered wooden gazebos.  It really helped.

To the Beach

The Beach Buddy Adventure garden area was really pretty and loaded with beautiful plants.  It was funded by the California Coastal Commissions's Whale Tail License Plate Fund.

To the Beach

This was another interactive area for adults and children.  You get a beach buddy map and go to various stations and learn all kind of great stuff about our beaches.  At the end you got a Beach Buddy badge.

Split leaf philodendron


I found this beautiful Sansevieria tucked up against rocks surrounded by color!  Lovely!

Love the leaves

There was a lot of multi colored portulaca growing all over.  Hmmm, full sun and loving it.  Didn't know it was this hardy.  I wonder how it will do in a rock garden?  And I don't know what the other plant is but the shape of the leaves is really cool.  Any helpers?


And then I came upon this big patch of Tradescantia pallida.  Wow, so pretty and purple.  I have tried to grow this but it burned.  Wonder how they did it.


So there was so much more going on but I have to stop somewhere.  I will post more photos to my Facebook page.  It really was great though and I'm glad you could see a bit of it here.  Maybe next year you should check it out!

Have a great week and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!


Mark and Gaz said...

The fair looked fun Candice, so many colours and interesting to see there based on your photos. Have a great week ahead too :)

Cassidy said...

Fun! Definitely more succulents than at our state fair :)

michaele said...

That shot of the grapes is particularly gorgeous.

Katie said...

I agree! Need more succulents! Count me in if you need help next year whipping them into shape. ;)

Byunjae said...

I think the NOID plant was probably a cultivar of Ipomea batatas, or sweet potato vine, possible I. batatas 'Blackie'?

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Thanks for the help and great comments!

Julie said...

What a beautiful area there at the fair. Gorgeous shots of everything Candace! Love planting in tires, and also the silver basin is pretty!

Hoover Boo said...

I've never been to the CA state fair. It would be nice to go--if it's not 100F. 70F sounds a lot more tempting.