Sacramento is proud to be America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, feeding the world from over 1.5 million acres of farmland throughout the region. Since 2012, when the official farm-to-fork movement began, the Sacramento community has highlighted many of its diverse and wide-ranging offerings including rice, almonds, tomatoes and more with weekly farmers’ markets and of course, Farm-to-Fork week in September!
The Sacramento Zoo is no stranger to the farm-to-fork movement and has increased its sustainability and offerings of local fare right alongside the regional movement. From the browse fed to the animals that comes right from the zoo’s own backyard (and our neighbors’ backyards!) to the delectable treats served at Kampala Café and Savannah Snacks, the food consumed at the zoo is locally sourced from less than 300 miles.
Even the zoo’s fundraising events feature locally sourced food! Wild Affair, the zoo’s annual gala fundraiser being held on September 16, features a farm-to-fork dinner presented by Supper Club.
Take a stroll behind Kampala Café and you’ll notice a seasonal garden planted by the zoo’s horticulturalists, featuring eggplant, rosemary and some edible wildflowers for the zoo’s animals.
Along with copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, the animals at the zoo require bushels of browse (non-toxic leaves and branches) every day. While browse grows throughout the zoo, there is also a browse garden specifically planted with many treats for various animals that are cut fresh to order. The zoo also accepts donations of fresh plant clippings from Sacramento residents; it cannot get more fresh and local than that! If you meander toward the gibbon exhibit, you’ll notice a browse garden featuring some of the zoo animals’ favorite treats including camellia for the primates, acacia for the giraffes and plenty of bamboo throughout the zoo for the adorable red pandas!
Hopefully the next time you visit the zoo, you’ll notice all the ways in which the animals and our guests experience farm-to-fork, just as you can at home and in your local restaurants.
There are several ways that you can be involved in the Sacramento Zoo’s farm-to-fork movement. Donate your locally grown tree trimmings to be used as edible treats for the animals through our Browse Program, eat at the Kampala Café, or purchase a ticket to Wild Affair. Even just visiting the zoo helps us continue to care for the animals and provide them with locally sourced food!