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Last chance FREE basil harvest!

September 28th, 2011

herb harvest flyer

Don’t miss the end of the season FREE basil herb harvest at the Good Life Garden!   Basil will be removed after this harvest to make room for our fall plants, so get your Ziploc bags ready!

WHEN: Friday, September 30
TIME: Anytime between 9 AM and 2 PM
WHERE: UC Davis Good Life Garden – in the courtyard of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.  click here for directions.

Please bring the following items:

  • scissors or pruning shears
  • a bag to hold your herbs
  • wet paper towels to put in the bag with the herbs (if you don’t have a refrigerator to keep them in for the day)


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The week in pictures!

April 19th, 2011

Here’s an update on what’s happening in the garden this week – enjoy the photos!

artichokes

The word of the day is 'artichoke'...They are going crazy out there!

lavender

The lavender is the other show-stealer this week...

lavender2

It's the bee's knees!

bolted red cabbage

Unfortunately a lot of our lettuces and cabbages are bolting because our gardener was told to hold off on harvesting things due to Picnic Day and some other events. The flowers are pretty though! I would have expected them to be red or purple, like the cabbage.

lettuce

More bolting romaine lettuce! I think it looks cool, even if it's no longer edible.

winter barley

The winter barley is thriving.

radishes

And the 'pretty in pink' radishes are sprouting.

peas

We've got peas!

garden colors

Even though a lot of the plants are on their last legs and are going to be removed next week, the color is still vibrant.

fennel

The fennel is looking pretty tasty...

I can't wait for the brown turkey figs to be ready to eat! They're getting there slowly...

artichokes 2

The attack of the artichokes!

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Our Last FREE HERB HARVEST for 2010! Don’t Miss Out!

October 14th, 2010

The UC Davis Good Life Garden will be converting to it’s fall and winter produce plantings next week, so before most of our summer herbs are replaced with lettuces, beets, chard, etc. we invite you to come out to the garden to enjoy the LAST HERB HARVEST FOR 2010! The following herbs are currently available: lavender, basil (green and purple), oregano, chive and mint.

If you are interested, please RSVP to goodlifegarden@ucdavis.edu so we know how many people will be attending. Directions to the garden can be found on our website: http://www.goodlifegarden.ucdavis.edu/location

The give-away is free to attend; we just need you to bring the following items:

* scissors or pruning shears
* a bag to hold your herbs
* wet paper towels to put in the bag with the herbs (if you don’t have a refrigerator to keep them in for the day)
* water to drink (because it’s going to be hot!)

BE SURE TO WASH ALL HERBS WELL BEFORE ENJOYING THEIR FRESH TASTE!

Our gardener Pat will be there all day to answer your questions about the different herbs and the harvesting process, as well as to direct you to the correct plants. We ask that no one remove entire plants or remove more than half of the leaves or flowers from any particular plant.

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We Got Mildew Yes We Do! We Got Mildew, How ‘Bout You?

September 16th, 2010
Here is an example of squash with just a few spots of powdery mildew.

 As tends to happen in the late summer, our squash is suffering from powdery mildew.  This problem is pretty easy to identify;  our plants will look like someone tossed some baby power all over them.

It starts small and then just gets worse if left to proliferate.  Powdery mildew sends little tubes into leaf cells to suck out their contents, killing the cells in the process. As leaf cells die and the leaf’s surface becomes covered in the white fungus, photosynthesis is reduced and leaves may be lost. Crop volume and eating quality can be reduced.

Here the mildew has been left to keep growing!

So how do you get rid of it organically?  Well, there are quite a few options. 

PREVENTION
According to our own UC Davis Integrated Pest Management, prevention is always the best way to avoid this problem.  In other words, if your garden is prone to this kind of issue, next time you plant squash, melon, pumpkin, etc., be sure to start with a resistant variety.

CULTURAL PRACTICES

You can avoid powdery mildew my making sure your plants receive plenty of sun.  (Because of the location of these plants near the South Building of the Robert Mondavi Institute, these plants do get more shade than others.)  Also be sure to:

  • Provide good air circulation by not crowding your plants
  • Rotate squash beds on a minimum three-year cycle to reduce the chance of a fungal buildup or reinfection from one year to the next.
  • Pull up infected plants and burn or bury them.

We got the dummy whammie–the plants need more sun and they are not disease resistant varieties–so now what?


ORGANIC FUNGICIDES
According to UC Davis Integrated Pest Management, once you have the powdery mildew problem, oils, like neem oil,  tend to work better at eradicating the issue once you have it rather than preventing the problem. 

You may also want to try a biological fungicide like Serenade Disease Control Concentrate, but like UC Davis Integrated Pest Management states, “While this product functions to kill the powdery mildew organism and is nontoxic to people, pets, and beneficial insects, it has not proven to be as effective as the oils or sulfur in controlling this disease.”

HOME REMEDY
For those of you interested in home remedies, it seems that you can also try making your own spray of one part skim milk to 9 parts water.  Skim milk works just as well as other types of milk–whole, low fat etc., but no fat means no odor!  Read more about this research finding here:  Using Milk to Control Powdery Mildew.

Did you get the gift of powdery mildew this summer?  If so, what did you do to get rid of it?  Let us know!

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Chive Harvesting

September 14th, 2010

Let me start off this entry by saying that I am one of those people whose anthropomorphic skill set extends beyond projecting human characteristics onto animals and inanimate objects.  I do the same with plants, and I believe that our proud chives need some attention!  They were mistakenly overlooked in favor of  the ever-popular basil, lavender and mint plantings at last week’s free herb harvest.  I think it may be because people don’t know how awesome they are!  They are hearty (hard to kill), perennial, beautiful (their flowers are gorgeous), and can be a delicious part of every meal!

At our next harvest (date TBA) check out our chives!  Harvest the stems that are not yet flowers like the one below.  Do you see how it is about to grow a flower yet, but hasn’t?  This is a good choice.  Snip it at its base so we avoid that unattractive chive stubble!

There are a variety of ways you can enjoy this wonderful herb; it’s not just for topping your potatoes!  With a milder flavor than onion, chives are usually snipped raw as a finishing touch for salads, soups, sauces, vegetable and fish dishes. Chives also work well in egg dishes such as quiche and omelets.  Here are the top 20 chive recipes according to Allrecipes.com.

Is there an edible that you love, that seems to get overlooked by more popular (common) fruits, vegetables, or herbs?  Why do you think it has an image problem?  Let us know!

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FREE HERB HARVEST this Thursday, Sept. 9 from 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM!!

September 7th, 2010
 
Download the flyer above by clicking here.  (Adobe Acrobat is required.)

We’re hosting another herb harvest this Thursday, September 9 from 9:30 AM – 2 PM.

Pretty much every herb is available for harvest (oregano, basil, sage, chives, rosemary, thyme, mint and lavender).

If you are interested, please RSVP to goodlifegarden@ucdavis.edu so we know how many people will be attending. Directions to the garden can be found on our website: http://www.goodlifegarden.ucdavis.edu/location

The give-away is free to attend; we just need you to bring the following items:

* scissors or pruning shears
* a bag to hold your herbs
* wet paper towels to put in the bag with the herbs (if you don’t have a refrigerator to keep them in for the day)
* water to drink (because it’s going to be hot!)

BE SURE TO WASH ALL HERBS WELL BEFORE ENJOYING THEIR FRESH TASTE!

Our gardener Pat will be there all day to answer your questions about the different herbs and the harvesting process, as well as to direct you to the correct plants. We ask that no one remove entire plants or remove more than half of the leaves or flowers from any particular plant.

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Birdhouse Gourds

August 24th, 2010

 No gourds yet, but aren’t these flowers beautiful?  This season we have an unusual crop growing–birdhouse gourds.  This cultivar has been bred for crafts, so it won’t be as tasty as those bred for eating, but they sure do make cool looking birdhouses.  Here is a great post about creating a birdhouse from one of these types of gourds from Life on the Balcony

Birdhouse gourd blossom.

This is what the gourds will look like after their conversion to a birdhouse!  Cool, right?

This season has been a little strange for our produce.  We haven’t gotten much, and if we do it seems to mysteriously disappear before we are able to harvest it; it could be rodent thieves or over zealous visitor thieves.  Hopefully we will get some gourds soon.  We’ll keep you posted!  Anyone else out there ever grow gourds?  Did you end up making a birdhouse?  How did it turn out?  Give us your tips!

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