What a great idea!
The Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center on the UC Davis campus is spearheading a "Pitch & Plant Gardening Contest." They're looking for folks to (1) pitch an idea for a raised bed and (2) plant it and nurture it from summer into fall.
The project is geared for the UC Davis community but folks outside the campus can also apply, according to program officer Britta Hansen of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. “I would say that preference will be given to UC Davis students, staff and faulty but we are open to non-affiliated individuals using the space.”
"We're looking for some bright minds and green thumbs to fill the raised beds with interesting plants," she said. "We have four raised beds available, each 8.5 x 4 feet in dimension, ready for up to four ideas. Planting and garden maintenance would be from July 18 up to the end of October."
This is a fast-moving contest, with a pending deadline. So email your 3-slide PowerPoint pitch for what you want to plant by Friday, July 1, to Britta Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org. The rules? Download PDF. Finalists will be asked to pitch their ideas in person the week of July 11-15.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab Demonstration Center currently displays vegetables from Africa and Asia, along with agricultural tools that small-scale farmers use in other countries. The location is at http://campusmap.ucdavis.edu/?l=860
Meanwhile, they offer a potpourri of ideas. Would you…
- plant a salsa garden?
- grow eggplants in all shapes and sizes?
- compare chili peppers to find the spiciest?
- test different types of mulch for keeping soil moist?
An added incentive: the demonstration center will provide materials, including seeds from their collection (or they may purchase them for you) and basic gardening tools.
Note that this isn't an income-producing plot. You won't get paid but you'll have the pleasure of planting and tending your own little garden, your very own Happy Place. And you can take home or consume what you grow. Estimated time required per week? Two to five hours.
Hmm…I wonder how many suggestions might include planting squash, cucumber and other cucurbits? Those would not only yield nutritious vegetables but attract the squash bees and other pollinators. And the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) would be a good draw for bees, butterflies and other insects.
Plant it and they will come.
Author - Communications specialist