The Garden Takes Off

July 14, 2007 | By | Comments (2)



Left: the garden on July 10th


When plants have good soil and steady water (well, and the expert care of Ryan Casey, our test garden coordinator), they can grow like  fairytale beanstalks. That’s what seems to be going on in our feast garden recently. A few weeks ago, it was just making do, inching along, and then Ryan put in the long-awaited gentle drip-irrigation system and—ka-bang. It was off to the races. The sight of our garden, after several days of not seeing it, was downright thrilling. The once-puny melons now carpet the ground. The pattypan squashes have leaves as big as baby elephant ears, with small bright yellow squashes clustering underneath. Teeny cucumbers are poking out from the  plant’s stems like toddlers behind their mother’s knees. The potatoes seem practically possessed, using the energy stored in their big starchy seeds (actually whole small potatoes) to explode up out of their trench. The corn is up to my knee. I can’t believe it’s all a 3-minute walk from my desk…more proof that California can be paradise.

Here’s what the garden looked like on June 15.

Left to right: row of edamame; row of squash (corn is off the right); row of yukon gold potatoes.


Here it is on July 10.

Left to right: Edamame (with chiles in background); squash and corn; yukon gold potatoes.



  1. Bob Speth

    Much was written and shown about the abundance of 550 sq. ft. of garden leading to what appeared to be, in Sunset Magazine’s August 2008 edition, a one-time feast.

    If a family of 4 could devote 550 sq. ft. to a garden + whatever additional space is needed for 6 chickens, how much of the family’s annual food needs would be provided by the garden + chickens?

    July 27, 2008 at 5:16 pm
  2. b/

    Just want to say that you guys are doing great. As a novice vegi-gardener and wanna-be chicken-raiser, I think this project is a wonderful idea. I’ll be checking your progress all summer. Keep up the good work! And keep us posted!

    July 19, 2007 at 8:28 pm

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