Another form of California gold is corn. Even in this severe California drought and with fire season in full force, people still flock to the Davis Corn Ranch Festival in Sloughhouse. The extremely family-friendly and dog-friendly annual event is a chance for me and Mister Jack to take a drive into the country for our usual two grocery bags filled with white and yellow corn. Using California State Route 16, tiny Sloughhouse is only 17 miles east of Downtown Sacramento. Another plus? The corn is GMO-free. Their outdoor fruit and vegetable market is open most of the year. It also sells goodies like jams, jellies, barbecue sauce, dried gourds and ornaments for your garden.
Admission to the Davis Ranch Corn Festival is free of charge. We stayed long enough to grab a quick, cheap meal, sit on hay bales and listen to the Chris Gardner Band. While children played in the “dried corn box” at the back of the makeshift concert location, Gardner explained to the audience that he came from the Sloughhouse area. I approached him during a short break, and he explained that his band performed at the California State Fair the night before. And they were headed to Lake Tahoe for another performance–as well as a way to escape the valley heat. He mentioned more gigs over the summer. Gardner and his band also perform at numerous locations in Sacramento and the surrounding areas.
The Davis Ranch can accommodate crowds. The parking lot has expanded since I first visited in the late 80s. There is a picnic area next to the strawberry patch. At the back of the parking lot, you’ll see the Christmas tree lot. Besides the numerous food, drink and craft booths, there are hay rides, pony rides and other activities for children and their families.
If you missed the Davis Ranch Corn Festival in Sloughhouse this year, there’s always next year. If you’re interested in gourd arts and crafts, entertainment and food, the upcoming 6th Annual Davis Ranch Gourd Festival will be held on September 27-28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gourd artist has plenty of choices when it comes to buying gourds from the ranch.
For more information, here’s a link: www.davisranchgourdfestival.com