The Fair Oaks Horticulture Center has a vegetable research and demonstration area that is approximately 1,000 square feet of planting beds in which Master Gardeners grow a variety of cool-season and warm-season crops to help identify varieties that grow successfully in the Sacramento area.
Formal vegetable trials have been conducted of fresh market (hybrid) tomatoes (5 varieties in 1998), sweet corn (2001), and heirloom tomatoes (35 varieties in 2002). Multiple demonstrations and tastings have been conducted for cherry tomatoes and melons. The vegetable garden also includes a permanent planting of asparagus. All other rows are changed each season. Several recent demonstrations have revolved around specific themes:
- Ethnic gardens - Mexican, Italian, French, Asian, and European (vegetables and herbs that represent the cuisines of those cultures)
- Rainbow garden - individual rows the color of a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, and purple (vegetables, herbs, and flowers that correspond to those rows)
- Victory garden - heirlooms, hybrids, and All-American Selection (AAS) winners (vegetables, herbs, and flowers)
Check out the 2010 Workshop Schedule to get information on workshops about growing vegetables.