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Beet Harvest!

March 31st, 2010

Here’s a photo of a beet that Arlene pulled from the garden just over a week ago! Since it is difficult to get the scale, she included a pencil next to it! Isn’t she the best?

What a meal this beet is going to make! I’d bake like a potato, then add some rice wine vinegar and goat cheese. I’d also saute all those greens with some olive oil and garlic. Yum! What would you do?

Check out these fabulous recipes from Food and Style for Spicy Beet-Green Crostini and Endive Boats with Fresh Ricotta and Roasted Beets. Don’t they both sound incredible?

Beets owe their bright red color to betacyanin, which also acts as a potent cancer fighter. Beet greens are loaded with folate for heart health along with carotenes known to protect eyesight. Raw or steamed beet greens are high in Vitamin A, calcium and phosphorus.

For more information on beet nutrition as well as how to grow this nutrient rich vegetables, visit our website.


New ‘Starts’ for the Garden–PART TWO

March 11th, 2010

Yesterday members from the UC Davis Grounds and Landscape Services staff managed to plant all the new starts we received from Kelly’s Color Nursery in Davis the day before. (For more information on this story click here.)

It was truly an efficient operation. Arlene Kennedy, Gardener for the UC Davis Good Life Garden, had the ground prepared and soil amended. (For more information on how to amend your soil click here.) The day before she lightly watered the soil so it would easy to plant in the next morning. Then, the morning of the planting, Arlene, Ed Norstrom, Grounds Supervisor, and Elias Mbvukuta, Groundskeeper matched the starts to the exact area where they would be planted. (See detail of rhubard chard below.)

Next, a small and very capable crew moved from one end of the garden to the other, and within a half hour, all the starts were planted! See the photos below.

Below, Pat Stoffel, Groundskeeper, loosens up some of the bound roots with her fingers prior to planting.

From left to right, Jose Aguayo, Lorenzo Guzman, Felipe Olivares, Elias Mbvukuta, and Arlene Kennedy plant flower starts in the UC Davis Good Life Garden wine aroma bed.

Jessie Flores, Groundkeeper, finishes planting the leek starts and prepares to move on to the next job.

Depending on the size of the start and the condition of the soil, our groundskeeper will use typical garden trowels, hoematics, or simply their hands to plant the new starts into the beds. Here Felipe Olivares employs the use of a hoematic to plant a row of celery starts. Hoematics are a great tool for any gardener. One side is a small hoe the other side is a garden hand rake.


New ‘Starts’ for the Garden–PART ONE

March 10th, 2010

It’s still officially winter, but at the UC Davis Good Life Garden we are officially getting the garden ready for our spring season! Since the garden debuted about a year and a half ago it’s been so nice to see how our some of our perennial herbs and vegetables are maturing and growing accustomed to their new homes.

As most gardeners know, growing edibles, or really any plants, is always a learning experience. Some edibles we grow from ‘starts’–young plants grown from seed in a green house and then transplanted to the garden, and others we grow from seed planted right in the garden.

The seeds are first planted in the flats and grown inside the nursery greenhouse. (See above.) Once the young plants are established they are moved outside to ‘firm’ up before transportation to your nursery or yard. (See photo left.)

Here is a list of the starts that were grown from Seeds of Change seeds by Kelly’s Color Nursery, Inc., a local nursery wholesaler found right here in Davis.

  • Tango Celery
  • Silverado Chard
  • Bright Lights Chard
  • Rhubarb Chard
  • Dinosaur Kale
  • Tadorna Leeks

We also picked up a variety of flowers not only to encourage visitation from a variety of beneficial animals and insects to the garden, but to add visual appeal. Those flowers are:

  • Bon Bon Orange Calendula
  • Soprano White Osteospermum
  • Sunny Sheila Improved Osteospermum
  • Autumn Colors Rudbeckia
  • Cherry Brandi Rudbeckia
  • Sonnet Crimson Snap Dragons

Here Kelly, Owner, Kelly’s Color Nursery; Christina DeMartini Reyes, Landscape Architect / Designer for UC Davis Good Life Garden; and, Ed Nordstrom, Supervisor for UC Davis Good Life Garden review the new order.