Fall Garden Update

As I look out my window, I see the leaves of a granny smith apple tree whose fruit has come and gone for the year. I see a young mulberry tree and remember it swaying in the rain and the wind a few weeks ago. And then there’s the irrigation pump faucet that hasn’t been turned on for several weeks. A fresh pile of compost is sitting in its bin, ready to be used in newly weeded out beds, and a cool wind blows in through my window.

The things I see in the garden are just a few indicators of the season change. It is late fall and slowly transitioning into winter, but for the past few days I’ve overheard people swear its still summer.

The weather may be unpredictable, but the garden is flourishing and growing well. September ushered in new students and new seeds to plant. Our first Saturday workday was a success—compost was built, seeds were started in the greenhouse, and many vegetables were planted in the garden.

PICAns, College 8 students, and Thursday Seminar students alike have come together this quarter to work and learn about the garden and many projects have already been started and completed!

We’ve finally made the transition into fall, with all of our summer annual beds weeded out and re-planted with vegetables and cover crop. We’ve planted a bounty of crops, including collard greens, kale, chard, beets, carrots, broccoli, boc choi, and radishes. Among the perennial crops that are beginning to ripen, there are figs, persimmons, and a few tree kale plants along the perimeter of the garden.

There have been a couple additions to the C-Quad as well. A small gated garden patch that had weedy, dry soil was worked up with compost and rain water and is now growing happy and healthy collard greens. Also, a new herb spiral has been created by the Saturday workday crew and Jose Sanchez’s crew and we’re all very excited to plant herbs such as chamomile, catnip, ginger, valerian, calendula, yarrow, and sage in it soon.

This fall’s harvest is plenty, so stop by and pick a kale leaf and a flower or two, or three. Come by just to sit and relax, and listen to the sounds around you. When you get up, let your feet take you anywhere, to our bed ends of lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, lemon verbena, aloe, oregano, and sage. You might see a hummingbird, or maybe you’ll look up and see an eagle. Or maybe you’ll find yourself at a patch of weeds that is just asking to be weeded out!

With all these great projects going on with the help of students from all over campus, the Foundational Roots Garden is off to a great start.

Irene Van Riper, Garden Coordinator and PICA Resident


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