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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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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!

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Lettuce Mold? Don’t Pull It Out; Just Prune It Back!

February 8th, 2010

All the rainfall we’ve been experiencing here in the Sacramento Valley has been great, but, as many of you have probably found out, it can be hard on your edible gardens, especially when combined with all the wind! Arlene, the UC Davis Good Life Garden Gardener, would arrive at work to find a small tossed salad of mixed greens scattered about our planting beds and on the pathways.

Needless to say our lettuce and greens took a beating by the wind, the rain, AND some kind of weird mold! After looking spectacular all season, our ‘Sucrine’ lettuce variety began to develop a strange moldy substance on most of the leaves, so Arlene opted to cut it all back to the ground and, thankfully, as you can see in the photos below, it’s already sprouting up again without any mold!

Do you see the whitish-brown stalk on the right of this photo? That is all that was showing after Arlene pruned it back to combat the mold. Now new baby leaves have already emerged after just a few days.

Arlene chose to prune the leaves back at different times so the patch wouldn’t be completely bare. In this photo you can see how well the leaves that have had a few more days to grow are progressing.

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Seasonal Vegetable Profile: Lettuce

January 8th, 2010

Health: Deep green lettuce leaves provide a wealth of nutrients, including Vitamins C and K, and folate, along with the minerals potassium and magnesium. Supplying only 25 calories per cup, lettuce is a nutritional bargain and excellent for heart health.

In history: Garden lettuce is thought to be a selected variety of Lactuca serriola, a wild lettuce found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is believed to have been first cultivated in Egypt but was also a favorite amongst the ancient Greeks.

Harvest tip: To achieve an extra nutritional boost, harvest in the early morning for maximum carotene content and flavor.

In the garden: Lettuce prefers cooler conditions so plant in early spring or late summer.

Did you know? Medieval paintings often depict the lady of the house harvesting frilly lettuces. These delicate vegetables were considered dainty enough to be touched by refined hands.

Did you know? The lettuce family, or ‘Compositae,’ is the second largest family of flowering plants, and yet it only contributes to a few food plants.

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
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