Category Archives: UCSC

Orin’s Chalkboard #3

My best rendition of a classic a la Thomas Whitman (the gopher master).

My best rendition of a classic a la Thomas Whitman (the gopher master).

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Tabin Row

Tabin Row. My new home for the next 6 months. Two canvas walls, a plexi-glass roof, and two wood side walls never felt so welcoming.

Tabin Row. My new home for the next 6 months. Two canvas walls, a plexi-glass roof, and two wood side walls never felt so welcoming.

And so community life begins. I will spend my summer with 45 other apprentices at the UCSC Farm & Garden. We will live, work, and learn together everyday for the next 6 months.

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The Chadwick Garden

My best try at mapping the Chadwick Garden. Of course, the place changes by minute so this already a relic.

My best attempt at mapping the Chadwick Garden. Of course, the place changes by the minute, so this is already a relic.

I want to introduce you to the Garden. The history and magic of this place is immense, but I won’t go into all of that right now. I just want to show you what I see. A steep, south facing hillside in the redwoods above Santa Cruz. About 2 1/2  acres covered in a thin 18″ sheath of black gold set down by 40+ years of back breaking work.

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UCSC Farm Awakens

New seeds germinating on schedule in the field at the UCSC Farm.

New seeds germinating on schedule in the field at the UCSC Farm.

The season is starting and soil is waking up faster than we can keep up. Everyday brings more tilling and planting. Today the apprentices are in class with Jim Leap learning about Mechanical Tillage i.e. Tractor Work. I can only watch with a jealous eye from the Garden while leaning on my trusty spade. The Field’s tractor spader cultivates ground 50x faster than my spade and fork. Their disc has got to be 100x faster. Hand cultivation reminds me how amazing modern technology is, though I still prefer moving dirt by hand. There is something beautiful and satisfying about digging your own bed and literally breaking your back working the land.

 

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Orin’s Chalkboard #2

The "Perfect Soil"

Soil Science Class in the Garden always starts with this diagram.

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UCSC Spring Plant Sale May 4th & 5th

Seedlings get their start in the Greenhouses at CASFS every year in preparation for the Spring Plant Sale.

Seedlings get their start in the Greenhouses at CASFS every year in preparation for the Spring Plant Sale.

Come to the CASFS Spring Plant Sale this Saturday and Sunday at the corner of Bay and High St. in Santa Cruz, CA. We have been growing some amazing plants for your garden. For more info http://casfs.ucsc.edu/plantsale

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