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

It’s fig day!

August 30th, 2010
The first fig was ready for harvest today!  It was the “brown turkey” variety and its skin was a pretty purple color.  In the garden I was not sure if the fruit was ready to be picked, but it was soft to the touch, and luckily when we cut into it it was perfectly ripe, juicy and sweet. According to the California Rare Fruit Growers website figs must be allowed to ripen on the tree as they will not ripen if picked when immature, and you will know they are ready when the fruit is soft and begins to bend at the neck.  I also found out that fresh figs do not store well; they will only last 2-3 days in the refrigerator, so when you pick them, make sure you are ready to use them right away!
the first fig of the season
the fig was perfectly ripe and very sweet
If you are lucky enough to have a fig tree in your yard there are tons of great recipes-figs are versatile as they work well in both sweet and savory dishes.  Click here to visit the California Fig Advisory website – they have a great recipe book for “Fig Fest 2010″ that includes fig and orange beignets, Gary’s fig and pecan cinnamon rolls, and causa con salmon with fig compote.
The brown turkey fig tree is only about 5 feet tall right now

Want to plant a fig tree in your yard?  They are picturesque, perfect shade trees that grow up to 50′ tall but are usually kept around 10′ to 30′.  Keep in mind also that they require full sun all day to ripen the fruit, need a lot of space and will shade out anything growing beneath them.  For more detailed information visit the UC Cooperative Extension fruit and nut research information center fig fact sheet.

Here are some other fun fig facts from the California Fig Advisory Board website:

  • Figs provide more fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable.
  • Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The fruits are the seeds or “pedicellate drupelets” found inside.
  • Figs contain a natural humectant — a chemical that will extend freshness and moistness in baked products.
  • California dried fig production has averaged 28 million pounds over the last five years. All dried figs harvested in the United States are grown in California’s Central Valley. 
Share