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Lady bugs keep aphids at bay in our Swiss chard patch.

Wordless Wednesday: Ocean View Farms Plot

People ask me about my community garden plot a lot, I guess because I don’t post photos from it. Most of the pictures you see here on Gardenerd are from our Test Garden, but today I’m sharing what’s growin’ on at Ocean View Farms (OVF) Organic Community Garden.

For those not familiar, OVF plots are 15’x15′ so biointensive planting is a must. We cram as much as we can into that plot, and we get a lot out of it. Here’s the latest of what we’re growing and harvesting from OVF.

Nasturtiums OVF
Nasturtiums serve as a trap crop to keep pests out of the veggies. They’re also edible (think pesto) and make a great winter ground cover.
Onions OVF
Onions, leeks, and green onions grow side by side in a narrow bed near the nasturtiums. Some were grown from seed (the small plants) and some we transplanted out seedlings we started last fall.
shelling peas OVF
We grew shelling peas as a cover crop in one 4×4 bed over winter. They are now just starting to set fruit and fill out.
ladybug chard OVF
Lady bugs keep aphids at bay in our Swiss chard patch.
Swiss chard ovf
Swiss chard grows well in Southern California in both spring and fall. We packed this bed with chard, beets and carrots. There are 8 chard plants, about 64 beets and 64 carrots growing in this one 4×4 bed.
gophers at OVF
Gophers are a big problem at OVF. We bring in the gopher mafia to set traps down a tunnel. So far we’ve lost all our cabbage, a kohlrabi and a couple heads of lettuce to the buggers. Did not catch the gopher.
Sweet peas OVF
We grow sweet peas over winter so they will be the first flower of the season. This is the first blossom to open so far.
Rosalind Broccoli OVF
We harvested this Rosalind Broccoli early so the gophers would not get it. It’s purple and needed saving. So we took it home a few days early.

What you can’t see is the decimated brassica bed with mounds of soil, limp cabbages, and holes where kohlrabi once stood. We wanted to leave the brassica bed some dignity. Pests are part of gardening. So we’ll set traps until spring planting arrives. Hopefully we’ll catch something soon.

The moral of the story is don’t give up. Keep gardening, keep working with nature, and keep learning about how to outwit predators. You’ll see the benefits most of the time.

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