Become a Fan

Sign up for our newsletter


Twitter Feed

  • Could not connect to Twitter

Garden update-It’s a chard-topia out there!

March 29th, 2011

The word of the week is CHARD!  The chard looks fantastic and is definitely the show stealer in the garden right now.

rhubard chard

This particular bunch of rhubarb chard is going to be harvested and served at an outreach and development function taking place at the Chancellor's residence this week! Talk about eating local!

bright lights chard

The colors of the bright lights chard variety are so vibrant; they look like neon lights...hence the name!

bright lights chard

The bright light chard varies greatly in color - notice the bronze-colored leaves in the background?

bright lights chard

Ok - last chard photo... I promise. It's just so dang pretty!

barcarolle lettuce

The barcarolle lettuce is a variety of romaine. Stunning! I'll take this with some freshly grated Parmesan and crunchy croutons please!

pioneer shell peas

We've got pioneer shell peas!

ruby perfection cabbage

We seem to have gotten a handle on the aphid infestation on the ruby perfection cabbage. Unfortunately some of them have started bolting!

Snow queen nectarine

Snow Queen nectarines are blossoming!

brown turkey fig

Could that be a baby fig? Did you know that figs are actually inverted blossoms? Read more about it here!

crimson clover

The crimson clover is also blooming.

shot of the garden facing west toward the vineyard

Thank goodness the sun finally came out!

Share

A Beautiful Friday in the Garden

March 11th, 2011

APHID UPDATE: The aphids have now moved on to cabbage and chard and Pat is fighting what seems to be a losing battle! She said that with the advent of the warmer weather and sunshine that the aphid population seems to be exploding. Her advice: just be diligent and continue spraying with the Safer Soap as much as possible, as well as following the other tips from our previous post. And pay attention to all of your tasty leafy veggies – not just kale- because they are definitely not immune either!

Yep… the aphids have gotten to the cabbage.  Now that’s nasty!
This poor little kale plant was stunted from all of the aphid damage!

Other than the bad news on the aphid front, everything else in the garden is doing well and it is a beautiful sunny day! The artichokes are sprouting, the calendula adds a vibrant touch of orange all over the garden, and the newly planted radishes and nasturtiums are starting to sprout!  Enjoy some recent photos below and have a great weekend!

The calendula is spectacular right now!
Now I want a Greek salad!

Maybe the chard is starting to have an aphid problem too, but it is all over the garden and still looks delicious to me!
The purple hues of the kale and cabbage complement each other nicely, don’t you think?
Pat is working diligently away at spraying the kale with the Safer Soap to rid it of aphids.
Go, Mr. Ladybug, go!  Eat those aphids so I can eat this delicious artichoke.
Ok so these aren’t in the garden, but are so spectacular I had to share them anyway.  The tulip trees on campus are breathtaking right now!

Share

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?

Share

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.

Share

Seasonal Vegetable Profile: Chard

January 8th, 2010


In history: A member of the beet family, chard is grown for its meaty stems and tasty greens, but ancient Romans cultivated the plant for its roots as well.

Health: In a mere 35 calories per cup, chard supplies a staggering 700% of Vitamin K needs and a wealth of carotenes that protect your eyes from age-related loss of vision.

Did you know? Like its distant relative spinach, chard contains oxalates, which are a waste product of plant metabolism. Oxalates are responsible for the gritty film left on your teeth after eating the vegetable.

About the veggie: Chard is one of the few vegetables that contains red and yellow betains—a type of pigment that produces the bright stem and vein color seen on certain types of chards. Red betains contain antioxidants; yellow betains do not. Betains are also found in beets, amaranth and prickly pears.

Visit our website to learn more.

Sources:
McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Scribner: New York, 2004.
Health content provided by Liz Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition, UC Davis, www.lizapplegate.com
.

Share