UC ANR South Coast REC - Irvine, CA - May 8, 2014
Fifty-five students and teachers rotated between workshops focusing on water conservation, pollinators in the field and in the landscape, locally grown food crops, and propagation techniques in conjunction with the one-day science project celebrating a day of science and service that was overseen by the University of California. Hands-on activities included planting a field of pumpkin seeds and seedlings started by the students, and overview of UCCE and demonstration landscape tours, a basic propagation and hypertufa pot demonstration, followed by planting succulents in hypertufa pots provided by UCCE Water Quality program. Additionally, students made dishes (citrus and avocado salad, guacamole, and lemonade) to supplement their lunch using ingredients from crops grown at South Coast REC. Homemade strawberry ice cream and lemon sorbet were also provided.
A group of 36 individuals graduated from the Master Gardener training class on May 10th, 2014. Friends and family gathered to cheer on the volunteers as they received their certificates of completion.
The ceremony was followed by tours of the South Coast REC; irrigation and succulent presentations; IPM, compost and vermiculture demonstrations; and children's craft activities.
Approximately 150 attendees were on hand to enjoy the fun-filled celebration.
- Author: Greg Overduin
UC ANR South Coast REC - Irvine, CA - January 24, 2014
A crowd of almost 200 people were lined up out the door to evaluate this tropical treat grown at the Center. Through a blind tasting, evaluators were asked to rate the 19 varieties using a basic one to five scale for texture, flavor, and overall performance.
The cherimoya collection at the South Coast REC contains various cultivars that are not widely available, and sought after by avid fans of this fruit. The varieties that were evaluated included ‘Big Sister', ‘Booth', ‘Bradley', ‘Chaffey', ‘Deliciosa', ‘El Bumpo', ‘Fino de Jete', ‘Lucida', ‘Nata', ‘Orton', ‘Ott', ‘Oxhart', ‘Pierce', ‘Sabor', ‘Salmon', ‘Santa Rosa', ‘Selma', ‘Whaley', ‘White', and ‘40/10'. The harvest at the time of the tasting was fairly good thanks to a mild winter.
Unlike the previous open tastings where ‘El Bumpo' reigned as the winner in all three categories, results were not as clear cut this year (although it did rank within the top three of each category).
South Coast REC 2014 Cherimoya Tasting Top Three Varieties
On hand to answer questions were the knowledgeable volunteers led by Isabel Barkman and Greg Rager.
Attendees making a donation received a reusable bag that was filled with various varieties of this late winter fruit. Donations will benefit the Urban Horticulture Extension Program at the South Coast REC providing the general public with educational opportunities related to edible and ornamental landscaping.
- Author: Tammy Majcherek
Following last month's haul of 4,600 pounds, Second Harvest Food Bank returned to UC ANR South Coast Research and Extension Center on August 14th, with volunteers from Girl Scout Troop 2088 of Ladera Ranch, to pick fruit for distribution to the hungry. Over the course of three hours, several pallets of citrus were gleaned from the Center's Citrus Block and taken to Second Harvest's facility in Irvine.
UCCE Master Gardeners – Orange County teach the eager youth how to properly use their tools and harvest the fruit, while discuss the importance of taking special care to remove any green material as a precautionary measure in light of the recent issues within Southern California concerning Asian Citrus Psyllid, a sap-sucking bug that is an important pest of citrus, which is one of only two confirmed vectors of the serious citrus disease, Huanglongbing or greening disease.
Special thanks to Girl Scout Troop 2088 and the UCCE Master Gardeners for all their hard work!
- Author: Tammy Majcherek
Don't miss out on all of the fun at the 6th Annual UC ANR Education Expo on Saturday, September 27, 2014. Click on the link below to check out the schedule of events for the day.