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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!


BEFORE and AFTER: Transition Time!

May 13th, 2010

Doesn’t everyone just love before & after photos? I know I do, so that’s what we’re bringing you today! We are transitioning to our spring/summer edibles in the garden right now! It is a little barren, but we are laying the ‘ground’ work for a prolific season of yummy produce by amending the soil with compost and Renovate Plus from Earthworks.

Next on our calendar, Arlene will be planting the produce we grow from seed and finally, on May 25, she, along with other UC Davis groundskeepers, will plant the starts we grow at a local nursery as well as the tomatoes that Wild Boar Farms has generously donated!

For now, here are some before and after photos for you to enjoy! Do you have any before and after photos you’d like to share? If so, please post them on our Facebook page!

BEFORE: In the before photo Arlene has just started harvesting the winter produce.

AFTER: This is what it looks like today! Slightly more barren, right?

BEFORE: This is a shot of what our artichokes looked like at the beginning of March.

AFTER: We have pruned the artichokes down to their roots. They will grow back next year! (This one already has started growing back! (Don’t you love that ladybug on it!)) Over the spring/summer season okra will be planted here.

BEFORE: Here is our crimson clover patch at the height of its bloom! We planted the clover here to reintroduce the nutrients lost after growing corn in this area last summer.

AFTER: The clover was cut down and tilled back into the earth. This area is again ready to grow corn!


Crimson & Clover!

April 20th, 2010

Why have we chosen to plant a portion of the garden with crimson clover and not something edible? Crimson clover is planted in the garden as a cover crop. Cover crops are an essential part of any vegetable garden and perform and number of different tasks:

  • Produce nitrogen which helps bring a natural balance back to the soil post harvest
  • Attracts beneficial insects
  • Aids in soil erosion
  • Adds organic matter back to the soil
  • Looks nice too, don’t you think?

Corn is especially hard on soil, and if you are familiar with last summer’s garden, then you know we had corn planted here in the past. (See last August’s entry.) The crimson clover will help restore the nutrients lost growing corn last summer so we can grow more this summer. It’s easy and looks fantastically lush!!


They weren’t kidding about the clover part! You can see where a creature, we’re guessing a bunny, chomped off the baby red flowers back in February! Do you see the headless stalks? I bet they tasted great!


Aren’t the fuzzy red flowers beautiful?