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BLOG RECOMMENDATION MONDAY: Rock Out with the Heavy Petal Blog

July 8th, 2010
This week we are rockin’ out in the garden with Andrea Bellamy, the creator of the Heavy Petal blog.

Andrea’s blog focuses on sustainable practices, and garden design for small urban spaces. Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, she brings her West coast ideas to the world of blogging.

One reason why the Heavy Petal blog caught our attention is the Heavy Petal Garden Tour. Her blog has this great feature where readers can post 5-10 photos of their own gardens for others to see. Being able to see what has worked for others is a good way to get ideas for your own garden! Andrea also has some really great posts like her how to piece on creating a hanging flower basket, or the before and after story on the stages of growth of a Painted Lady butterfly.



We love that she put a penny

next to this Red Russian garlic,
it gives such a great perspective on size.

Andrea is taking her blog ideas and putting them onto paper. She has written a book titled “Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small Space Edible Garden,” which will be available in late December 2010. Congrats Andrea! We cant wait to take a look! In the mean time Andrea says she loves to get comments and feedback so check out her blog and if you have any pictures your willing to share think about joining the Heavy Petal Tour!
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Blog Recommendation Monday: GROW BETTER VEGGIES by LOVE APPLE FARMS

June 21st, 2010

This week’s blog recommendation Monday goes to Cynthia Sandberg’s Love Apple Farm blog entitled Grow Better Veggies: A Biodynamic Quest for Vegetable Perfection. The blog is tremendous, especially if you are interested in biodynamic gardening. Honestly, I’ve heard of it and it sounds great, but I don’t think I could tell what exactly that means other than, it’s organic gardening turned up, way up!

If you want to learn more about their biodynamic practices here is a link to their primer, About Biodynamic Agriculture. In a nutshell, it’s about balancing the interrelationship of the soil, plants, and animals in a closed, self-nourishing system. According to their blog, “The approach also attempts to consider celestial influences on soil and plant development…”


Above is a photo of gardeners preparing the soil with what the ‘father’ of biodynamic agriculture, Rudolf Steiner, calls Prep 500 (also called horn manure). This is a humus mixture prepared by filling the horn of a cow with cow manure and burying it in the ground in the autumn. It is left to decompose during the winter and recovered the following spring. A small amount is mixed with water for an hour, and then applied to the ground in the fall, at dusk.

They must be doing something right because Love Apple Farm has an exclusive produce supply arrangement with Manresa, a Los Gatos, California restaurant designed to showcase the inventive cuisine of executive chef, David Kinch who was recently awarded ‘Best Chef: Pacific’ by the James Beard Foundation.

Love Apple Farms, according to its website, is currently on the move! They were previously located in Ben Lomand and are now moving to Santa Cruz. Not only do they grow amazing vegetables, they also offer a variety of classes throughout the year, as well as private tours.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Have you ever been to Love Apple Farms or to Manresa? If so, what did you think? We think they are both worth a trip to the South Bay and wish them continued success with their endeavors!

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We’re Listed on ALLTOP.com’s Gardening Blog Page!

May 17th, 2010

For “Blog Recommendation Monday” we bring you so many gardening blogs from all over that you won’t know what hit you! We bring you the Alltop.com gardening page:

ALLTOP.COM GARDENING


Above is a photo of a regal looking blue jay on top of one of a garden trellis. We’re not sure why we thought this photo was appropriate for today’s entry other than he or she is on top of the trellis, and the UC Davis Good Life Garden is now listed on Alltop.com. It’s a stretch, we know!

What the heck is Alltop.com? Well…from one Alltop.com newbie to another (my apologies for waking up to this cool site so recently), this is the place where you can go to find out “what is happening now” on a variety of topics…like gardening. And, when it comes to gardening, UC Davis Good Life Garden is now listed with other really interesting, informative and educational garden bloggers!! We are so excited! You have to scroll all the way to the bottom, but there we are!

Check out all of the sites, you will definitely be bookmarking quite a few for future reference! If and when you do, let us know which you like!

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Blog Recommendation Monday: DigginFood

May 10th, 2010

The DigginFood blog describes itself as “…a community table that serves up gardening and cooking inspiration for people who like good food.”


Here is a quote about the blog from its author Willi Galloway,

I got the idea for DigginFood while I was harvesting some greens. I was thinking about what I was going to make for dinner and I realized that I read tons of gardening and cooking blogs, but none of them focus on my favorite thing to do: cooking with food fresh from the garden. So I decided to create a site where I could blog about what was happening in my garden and kitchen, share growing guides and recipes for my favorite foods, and tell stories about other people who like to grow and eat real food.

Sounds like it is right up our alley, doesn’t it? We think you will like it too!

Here is a sample of the wide variety of content you will find:

Convert an IKEA Shelf into a DIY Seed Starting Station (No need to explain this!)
Inoculating Peas with Rhizobia Bacteria (Sounds scary, but is a good idea!)
Vegetable Trellis Round Up (Trellis options for all kinds of veggies.)

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BEETS: Our Harvest and a Pickled Spiced Beet Recipe

May 5th, 2010





Today we are harvesting beets!

So what to do with all these beets? Here is a recommendation from Professor Kevin Scott, UC Davis Viticulture & Enology. He loves the spiced beet recipe he first discovered in a vintage UC Davis Extension Cookbook from about 30 years ago!

Canning is a fairly easy process once you get used to it, but you want to make sure, sure, sure everything has been sterilized and safely sealed. For more information on canning resources and how-t0s see the links below.

VEGETABLE PICKLES: SPICED BEETS (makes 6 pints)

Ingredients:
4 c. vinegar
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
3 quarts cooked small beets, peeled

Instructions
1. Cook beets until tender. Plunge into cold water and slip skins — or use canned beats.
2. Mix vinegar, sugar, and cloves. Simmer 10 minutes.
3. Add beets and simmer 10 minutes more.
4. Pack beets into hot, sterilized jars and fill with liquid. Seal.
5. Process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes as directed on page 3*. (We don’t have page 3, but the idea is to process the jars for their final seal and sterilization. Don’t know what that means? Here are a couple resources to help out.)

SAFE CANNING RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

Did you know that cold weather makes bull’s blood beets leaves turn red? If you grow this variety in milder weather the leaves stay green! The leaves that Arlene are holding below are both from the same plant. The red leaf grew in the winter whereas the green leaf grew recently. Nature is so amazing don’t you think??

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Blog Recommendation Monday

April 20th, 2010

First of all, I know today is Tuesday, but doesn’t blog recommendation Monday sound so much better? The name has inspired me to share a blog or two that I enjoy, on topics I think you might enjoy on Mondays…maybe not every Monday, but I’ll try! There are so many gardeners, enthusiasts, photographers, artists, ‘locavores,’ farmers, sustainable agriculture experts, etc. out there that write on topics I know I could not begin to cover!

So, for the debut of ‘Blog Recommendation Monday’ I give you–back40feet.blogspot.com. Chuck, the author, came to my attention via Carri at Read Between the Limes (another fun read and deserving of its own ‘Recommendation Monday’). Thank you to both of them for coming to the UC Davis Good Life Garden and talking, tweeting and writing about their experiences. Here is a link to his DO NOT MISS slideshow and posting about the garden.

Here are a couple of my faves:

I love how perfect her sweatshirt looks against our crimson clover!


I’m going to miss our Winter/Fall edibles like the chard and kale seen here:


Chuck from posted some really wonderful photographs that we are lucky to have of our Winter/Spring plantings. He takes a lot of very inspirational photographs of various types of gardens, landscapes, arboretums, nurseries, cemeteries…the list goes on. Long story short, not only does he offer lots of eye candy, his blog includes links to many useful resources for gardeners and enthusiasts alike.

Thank you Chuck and another thank you to Chuck’s readers whose enthusiastic responses to our garden inspire us!

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