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September 3, 2001

Farm's fall plant sale Sept. 14-15 features greens--and recipes, too

By Jennifer McNulty

If sitting down to a bowl of steaming collard greens sounds about as appealing as last week's leftovers, think again. With minimal preparation, healthful greens such as collards, kale, and chard can become the delectable centerpiece of many winter meals.

Six-packs of organic leafy-green vegetables--and original recipes that feature these unsung heroes of the vegetable world--will be among the highlights of this year's Fall Plant Sale, sponsored by the UCSC Farm at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems. The sale will take place on Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15, from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, in the Barn Theater parking lot at the intersection of Bay and High Streets in Santa Cruz.

"Everyone appreciates the flavor of a homegrown tomato, but people overlook what you can do with kale, chard, and the other Brassicas," said UCSC Garden Manager Christof Bernau. "With our mild climate, gardens can produce a lot more than just lettuce during the winter. We want to encourage gardeners to branch out and try planting new things this year."

Recipes by caterer Amy Linstrom, co-owner of Feel Good Foods and a graduate of the UCSC Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, will be distributed at the plant sale to inspire those who view leafy greens with suspicion.

In addition to winter vegetables, the sale will feature perennial flowers and shrubs, including several varieties of roses, culinary herbs, subtropical salvias, herbaceous perennials such as yarrow and delphinium, and a limited selection of California natives. "If we have another El Niño year, this fall would be a perfect time to get any Mediterranean plants established," added Bernau. "They'll grow like gangbusters in the spring and will require only minimal irrigation."

All plants are organically grown at the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden. The sale will benefit the UCSC Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. Members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden receive a 10 percent discount on purchases; memberships will be available at the sale.

For more information about the Fall Plant Sale or the Friends of the Farm & Garden, call (831) 459-3240.

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