Friday, February 8, 2013

Hort 2334 Food Crops, 2-07-2013

This weeks class started with a chilly walk out to the garden.  We were introduced to the four plots and the existing perennials. Which are purple passion asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb and roses.  We learned a little about the history of the garden as well, it had once been a trial garden for Burpee seeds.  Some of the "rules" for the garden are, don't work alone, don't leave the gate open and never leave tools out.

After warming up a bit we had the first two presentations of the semester.  Adam opened with a presentation about the Kiwi fruit.  I learned that they were originally from China and had been called Chinese gooseberries.  The name was changed to avoid a berry tax and to inform people they were being grown in New Zealand. We were also informed that Hayward is the most popular cultivar. In closing his presentation he asked that we try the kiwi with the skin, which I had never done. It wasn't bad.

Carlo's presentation was on a tropical fruit, the papayas.  They originated in South America and were transported all over the (tropical) world by Spanish explorers.  I learned that India grows the most papaya and that it is the third most popular tropical fruit.  Also that Sunrise is the most popular cultivar.  Sunrise is resistant to papaya ring virus.  Carlo brought dried papaya in for us to sample.

Lecture finished with a review of the siting part of the text.  We went over the number of people needed to feed 100 people.  2.5 acres.  We reviewed the importance of microclimates. Water, source, quality and delivery to site.

After lecture we went to the green house to check on our seedlings and for lab.  Our cauliflower looks very encouraging as does the lettuce but as of the 7th there were only 2 leek seedlings up in the whole tray.

For lab this week we had the tasty, yet sticky task of tasting 13 different orange citrus. I got to try my first Cara Cara, and it was very good but my favorite was the California mandarin "cutie".

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