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Linn County Master Gardeners-Trip 2

I have blogged before about a visit to the Linn County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden in Albany, Oregon. The first time I visited was late spring and I had hit the apex of spring bloom. This visit was the end of June early July.  Spring blossoms were gone and they had had quite a bit of warm weather. The vegetable gardens had recently been harvested and were being replanted. 

There was a very interesting sign that introduced the concept of planting by value in the vegetable garden. That is, consider the cost of the item in the grocery store and the amount of space it took to grow in your garden. I had never really approached planting that way, but it makes sense.  Their calculations suggested that herbs, carrots, beets, lettuces, kale, chard, zucchini tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and beans made more sense than broccoli, cauliflower, bulb onions, corn, watermelon, and pumpkins. Now, of course, these calculations are based on monetary value versus space. If your family has an absolute favorite vegetable that may raise its value for you more than it would for me.  After all the first rule of vegetable gardening is to plant what your family will eat.

Another interesting thing I noticed this trip were some problems in the garden and how the Linn County MGs handled them.  Their currant plant was covered with damage from aphids.  They took this opportunity to explain via signage what this was, that it was very common in currants and how to handle the problem, turning it into a wonderful teaching moment. Likewise, there was a dwarf apricot that did not look well.  Again, a sign explaining that it was dying for several reasons, the main one being that this wasn't the optimal zone for that plant and that it would be replaced with something more suitable.  Sharing real-world problems and solutions with their visitors made the gardens even more interesting.  It also reminded me that I should visit my favorite gardens more often because of how different they can be from season to season.

photos by Karen Metz
photos by Karen Metz

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Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 2:05 PM

What, Santa Didn't Bring You a Tarantula for Christmas?

Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Doesn't Santa give everyone a Mexican redknee tarantula for Christmas? Oh, you didn't get yours? Well, Delsin Russell, 9, of Vacaville, did, and he...

Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mexican redknee tarantula, the new project of 9-year-old Delsin Russell of Vacaville. Santa delivered the much-wanted gift on Christmas Eve. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Delsin Russell of Vacaville, then  8, attended an open house last August at the Bohart Museum of Entomology with his mother, Beth. Here they chat with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Delsin Russell of Vacaville, then 8, attended an open house last August at the Bohart Museum of Entomology with his mother, Beth. Here they chat with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Delsin Russell of Vacaville, then 8, attended an open house last August at the Bohart Museum of Entomology with his mother, Beth. Here they chat with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Meets a Stick Insect

Kira Olmos, 5, of Winters isn't sure she wants meet an Australian stick insect at the Bohart Museum. She is holding mom's hand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

When you're five years old and just learning about the world around you and its inhabitants, it's okay to be a little apprehensive when you encounter...

Kira Olmos, 5, of Winters isn't sure she wants meet an Australian stick insect at the Bohart Museum. She is holding mom's hand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Kira Olmos, 5, of Winters isn't sure she wants meet an Australian stick insect at the Bohart Museum. She is holding mom's hand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Olmos, 5, of Winters isn't sure she wants meet an Australian stick insect at the Bohart Museum. She is holding mom's hand. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Olmos' reaction is priceless as she reacts to the stick insect on her mother's arm.
Kira Olmos' reaction is priceless as she reacts to the stick insect on her mother's arm. "She’s really not sure she wants to be one the same planet as that stick insect," commented Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Olmos' reaction is priceless as she reacts to the stick insect on her mother's arm. "She’s really not sure she wants to be one the same planet as that stick insect," commented Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Olmos leans forward for a closer look at the Australian stick insect. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Kira Olmos leans forward for a closer look at the Australian stick insect. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Olmos leans forward for a closer look at the Australian stick insect. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Olmos smiles as she holds a smaller stick insect at the Bohart Museum. In back are UC Davis student fly researchers Yao Cai, graduate student, and Cindy Truong, undergraduate student, of the Joanna Chiu lab. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Kira Olmos smiles as she holds a smaller stick insect at the Bohart Museum. In back are UC Davis student fly researchers Yao Cai, graduate student, and Cindy Truong, undergraduate student, of the Joanna Chiu lab. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kira Olmos smiles as she holds a smaller stick insect at the Bohart Museum. In back are UC Davis student fly researchers Yao Cai, graduate student, and Cindy Truong, undergraduate student, of the Joanna Chiu lab. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 5:10 PM

Bruce Hammock: From Researching Insects to Helping Humankind

An anise swallowtail caterpillar, Papilio zelicaon. UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock's research on metamorphosis has led to human-focused research. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And to think it all began with butterflies. From basic science to applied science. From studying insects to helping humankind. The ovarian cancer...

An anise swallowtail caterpillar, Papilio zelicaon. UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock's research on metamorphosis has led to human-focused research. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An anise swallowtail caterpillar, Papilio zelicaon. UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock's research on metamorphosis has led to human-focused research. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An anise swallowtail caterpillar, Papilio zelicaon. UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock's research on metamorphosis has led to human-focused research. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An anise swallowtail,Papilio zelicaon. UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock's research on metamorphosis has led to human-focused research. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An anise swallowtail,Papilio zelicaon. UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock's research on metamorphosis has led to human-focused research. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An anise swallowtail,Papilio zelicaon. UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock's research on metamorphosis has led to human-focused research. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Youngsters learn cooking from 4-H teens in Imperial County

Two UC Cooperative Extension programs - 4-H Youth Development and UC CalFresh nutrition education - collaborate to give Imperial County elementary school students an introduction to the culinary arts, reported Vincent Osuna in the Imperial Valley Press.

The 4-H Teens-As-Teachers Cooking Academy runs seven sessions in which the high school students use evidence-based curriculum from 4-H to teach the elementary school students how to cook.

"I think this is a really good experience for the kids because it shows them the pathways that are here at the high school that could lead them into their future," said a Calexico High School senior Nelly Rodriguez, who serves as an academy teacher. "It gets them a start way ahead of what we got, because we started in ninth grade, and they get to start young in elementary."

A 4-H mini-grant funded equipment, aprons, skillets and other materials; UC CalFresh provides the food ingredients.

"It's to basically teach kids how to cook, but also just to empower them to help them feel like they have a little more control over their food," said Chris Wong, UCCE Imperal County community education specialist. "At the same time, it serves purpose to the high school culinary class because it professionally develops them for their food demos and their competitions at the end of the year."

4-H teen teacher Julio Ramirez said the young students were nervous at first, but by the fourth session, "They're anxious to do it. It's just a good thing to see."

Elementary school students learn from 4-H teens how to cook healthy meals. (Photo used with permission.)
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 9:04 AM
Tags: 4-H (62), Chris Wong (1), UC CalFresh (6)
Focus Area Tags: 4-H Food

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