USF Garden Project

Santa Cruz Field Trip
March 4, 2008, 1:54 am
Filed under: Activities, organic gardening

October 24, 2007

Two vehicles containing all the Garden Projecters and our professors left USF on Friday, October 19, 2007, around 1:45 p.m. We headed to Santa Cruz to see UCSC’s farm. There we met Derone who gave us a tour and even showed them his own patch of land.

Down Garden was 1.5 acres and plenty of growth going on. One great method for getting rid of the coddling moth, an insect that hangs around apples, was to use pheromone technology. It causes mating disruption so that the female can’t lay her eggs in the apples. The food grown at UCSC was given to apprentices, farmers on campus, and to a CSA (community supported agriculture). Down Garden had bed ends, trellises, a worm box, a learning center, rows, and so much more. For their water distribution, they used spigots, headers, and an underground set of tubes. The flowers that they grew were beautiful and were made into bouquets and sold.

Derone’s farm was 1/4 acre and he certainly made the most of it. He had a scarlet runner bean teepee, a pumpkin patch with scarecrows, kale, bok choi, a walnut tree, figs, chickens, corn used for popping, and a whole bunch of other stuff. He also had some suggestions as to what we should plant such as teas, lemon verbena, kale or plants that grow year-round, carrots, lettuce, potatoes (plants that take 70 – 100 days to grow), and definitely have at least one part vegetables. He told us that gardens are a celebration and we should think about a picnic area, holding student-specific events, having a shade structure such as a gazebo or plexi-glass, and an info board.

Later that night, we went to Free Wheelin’ farm and met Amy. She gave us a box of goods which we used to create our fabulous dinner. Saturday, after a delicious breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and juice, we made our way over to Pie Ranch. There we worked the land by picking strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, getting eggs from the chickens, taking the staples and tarp off rows, and airing out the pumpkins. We then got a tour of the old house and broke for lunch which, again, was amazing.

I feel that this trip was very productive since we were all bonding and really got some see some great farms. My favorite was UCSC’s one since it had such a good feel to it and I loved the way they used all their resources. The views for the places visited were breathtaking. As always, thank you for this trip and the experience.

-Nalini Bholanauth


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