Appetizers

Melon Mania on tap at Maple Rock Gardens

An OrangeGlo melon is one of many grown at Maple Rock Gardens. The farm in Lincoln will hold its second Melon Mania with tastings of more than 50 varieties on Aug. 15.
An OrangeGlo melon is one of many grown at Maple Rock Gardens. The farm in Lincoln will hold its second Melon Mania with tastings of more than 50 varieties on Aug. 15. rpench@sacbee.com

In the mood for a nice juicy slice of ripe watermelon? You’ll find plenty at the second annual Melon Mania at Maple Rock Gardens.

Tickets are on sale now for this Aug. 15 food fest, hosted near the 4-acre melon patch at Maple Rock in Lincoln. Patrons will be able to taste at least 52 varieties – about a dozen more than 2014 – including such favorites as neon-hued OrangeGlo and heirloom Moon and Stars watermelons. Besides the always popular watermelons, dozens of unusual musk melons and exotic Asian varieties will be available for tasting.

In addition to munching melon, visitors will be able to tour Maple Rock’s 30 acres of formal gardens. Live music and more food will be available during the melon festival, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A farmstand will offer fresh melons to take home as well as other fresh produce grown at Maple Rock.

For folks who want to grow their own melons as well as other edibles, lifetime master gardener and radio host Farmer Fred Hoffman will offer tips during a special edition of “Farmer Fred’s University.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and teens, including parking. Children age 12 and under will be admitted free. Purchase tickets in advance at High Hand Nursery, 3750 Taylor Road, Loomis, or online at www.highhand.com. For more details, call (916) 652-2065.

Maple Rock Gardens is located at 100 Clark Tunnel Road, Lincoln. From Sacramento, take Interstate 80 east towards Reno. Exit at Sierra College Boulevard and turn left. Go 7 miles to Highway 193; turn right. Maple Rock is just off Highway 193 at Clark Tunnel Road.

Debbie Arrington: 916-321-1075, @debarrington

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