I have never a had green tomato on my plate that was not dipped in batter and fried. My Midwest upbringing and my parents’ southern roots made this a hard concept to understand. Who knew, you could eat a green tomato without frying it, stranger things have happened, but I digress. Last week, I had a chance to visit Sacramento, California, America’s farm to fork capital.

Each day, I ate foods sourced from local Sacramento farms at various restaurants and events. While staying at The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection, after coming back from day one of a conference, I got to hear live music float up to my room. The party in the park was  part of downtown Sacramento’s Concerts in the Park series, happening each Friday evening from 5pm to 9pm during summer months. It was nice to be able to lay in my bed and rest while hearing bands cover David Bowie, Prince, and Michael Jackson tunes as I enjoyed room service.

Sacramento is the largest agricultural provider in the United States with local restaurants adjusting their menus to mirror seasonal changes. I came, I saw, I ate, and then I ate some more. Sacramento has embraced its agricultural roots and formed partnerships with local hotels, restaurants, and farmers’ markets. One of my fellow conference attendees talked about how he and his wife have fresh produced delivered to their home on a weekly basis. Coming from the Midwest, our extremely cold winters, make buying local all year around an impossibility. So yep, I am jealous of all the rich juicy produce Sacramento locals get to experience all year long.

I try to get in an extra day or two before coming in town for a conference to do exploring. Walking around downtown Sacramento had me visiting the state capital and trying different restaurants. We do not have Sees Candies in the Midwest, so of course I had to stop by the outlet store and bring home some treats for friends. I will be passing these bad boys out like Oprah on Monday. You get a chocolate, you get a chocolate, oh wait, not you. I also noticed how friendly locals where, as they waved while I was out and about taking pictures. So glad, I carry a big bag with me while walking about, because stores charge ten cents for bags, no sir, I will be helping to save the planet. I need my ten cents.

It was so much fun spending time at Capay Valley Farms. As we passed the Agricultural Museum and various other types of farms on the way there like sunflower and pistachio. No doubt, it was hot as Hades, but we still managed to have a good time. Our agriculture ambassadors, Denise and Tiffany did a superb job providing information on all things olive, almond, and walnut farm related as we passed a local casino. They spoke about how the casinos and the farming communities work together as good neighbors. Hopefully, you remember to not have any “Hangover Movie” like adventures when visiting.

There are so many things I did not have a chance to try and I look forward to discovering more of what Sacramento has to offer.  My restaurant discovery included The Grange and Tequila Museo Mayahuel.  Both restaurants served up amazing flavors, although I did noticed that restaurants in the area stayed away from anything too spicey.  I also had a wonderful sit down dinner outside at the Hyatt.  They are very committed to working with local farmers and our entire meal was sourced locally.  Three cheers for the Hyatt’s staff for pulling off an amazing meal.

Tired of restaurant food, there is a local farmers market downtown where you can keep fresh fruits and veggies to nosh on in your room.  Need more exploring in your life, visit local pear farms and vineyards.  Sacramento has a thriving wine community.  This is a city that truly embraces the farmland that surrounds it.  Unbowed, unbent, unbroken, Sacramento, I will see you again!