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UPDATE: IT’S NOT TOO LATE to plan for the Fall / Winter Season

October 26th, 2010

For all you local gardeners who may be feeling like you’ve missed the boat by not sowing your seeds yet for the Fall / Winter season; it’s not too late!  (Or, at least we hope so!)

Pat, our gardener (in the hat), takes a moment to speak with a journalist.  Note how she has cut back many of our garden perennials like chives and the ornamental society garlic to grow again during the Fall and Winter season.

Last week our gardener Pat worked hard on the “out with the old” chore of garden clean-up by pulling out any herbs unharvested by our enthusiastic community of gleaners!  (Thank you again to those who participated in our last herb harvest of the year!)  She also began prepping the soil by working in compost from our own Student Farm, along with a soil supplement we told you about last season called Earthworks Renovate/Plus.  For more information about this product check out our previous blog entry on the topic here.

This patch is where we grew our corn.  The spearmint patch in the foreground looks very happy doesn’t it?  It smells great too, but don’t forget to keep it pulled up and pruned back from areas where you don’t want it–mint likes to take over!

It is looking rather barren out there now.  It’s times like these when there’s hope in the air…as in, I hope something grows from all those seeds of lettuce, chard, kale, beets, etc. we’ll be planting this week!

What’s going on with your garden so far this season?


BEETS: Our Harvest and a Pickled Spiced Beet Recipe

May 5th, 2010

Today we are harvesting beets!

So what to do with all these beets? Here is a recommendation from Professor Kevin Scott, UC Davis Viticulture & Enology. He loves the spiced beet recipe he first discovered in a vintage UC Davis Extension Cookbook from about 30 years ago!

Canning is a fairly easy process once you get used to it, but you want to make sure, sure, sure everything has been sterilized and safely sealed. For more information on canning resources and how-t0s see the links below.


4 c. vinegar
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
3 quarts cooked small beets, peeled

1. Cook beets until tender. Plunge into cold water and slip skins — or use canned beats.
2. Mix vinegar, sugar, and cloves. Simmer 10 minutes.
3. Add beets and simmer 10 minutes more.
4. Pack beets into hot, sterilized jars and fill with liquid. Seal.
5. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes as directed on page 3*. (We don’t have page 3, but the idea is to process the jars for their final seal and sterilization. Don’t know what that means? Here are a couple resources to help out.)


Did you know that cold weather makes bull’s blood beets leaves turn red? If you grow this variety in milder weather the leaves stay green! The leaves that Arlene are holding below are both from the same plant. The red leaf grew in the winter whereas the green leaf grew recently. Nature is so amazing don’t you think??