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Live Well, Wonder Well: Notes from Joanie's Garden

13 Jul, 2021 | Posted by 1440 Multiversity

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The culinary experience at 1440 Multiversity is one that extends far beyond a meal. In fact, it is a central tenet of the 1440 journey that provides education, sustenance, connection and inspiration for living well both on campus and at home. All meals at 1440 are mindfully prepared, sustainable and locally sourced from farms and growers within 300 miles of campus. Menus are seasonal, creative and engaging, allowing guests to connect with the culinary team – and one another – over the simple pleasure of a meal that makes them feel good. 


Joanie's Garden allows guests to stroll through a wonderland of growth, ranging from beds of produce that vary each season to arches of tomatoes and snap peas. Edible florals and herbs are sprinkled throughout, often appearing as garnishes in meals served at Kitchen Table. There is a "Joanie's Garden crew," as Campus Gardener Mike MacDonald calls them, comprised of critters that help foster an optimal environment, including the resident honeybees that call the garden home. 


Follow along and Wonder Well as Gardener Mike shares his culinary updates, from what's growing and thriving to what is being harvested, soon to find a home in the 1440 Kitchen. 


Read Notes from the 1440 Kitchen here. 




July 8, 2021: Garden Notes – Thriving Produce in the California Heat Wave


Poblano peppers and Persian cucumbers are taking off, big time. They've been loving the warmer weather and have started getting big and lush and producing fruit. Pea trellises are transitioning to tomato trellises, and I'm adding compost to the beds as I plant the next succession of crops. 


On the harvest list for the week are dragon's tongue beans, new potatoes, purple carrots, Meyer lemons, baby mustards and mizuna, red and green scallions, basil, cilantro flowers, and plenty of cut flowers for sprucing up tables and such. We have been loving putting out small vases of flowers from the garden in our public spaces for guests to enjoy; it's just one of the things we like to do to make the campus feel like home for those who visit. 


The garden has been producing so heavily that I've been pruning herbs, bunching them and hanging them to dry for use in herbal teas and in the kitchen. The drying rack was looking a bit monotone, so I started drying flowers, too. We'll pepper them in on bookshelves and tables around campus in the winter when fresh flowers are hard to come by.


--Campus Gardener Mike MacDonald 


An array of tomatoes have replaces sugar snap peas
on the trellises in Joanie's Garden.

June 24, 2021: Garden Notes – Out With Peas, In With Tomatoes


Last week's heat wave was an unmistakable intro to summer. This week I'm pulling out dead and dying sugar snap peas from the trellises and replacing them with Sungold, San Marzano and Green Zebra tomatoes. As summer progresses, the tomato plants will cover the trellises, forming tunnels you can walk through while you harvest. In a future Culinary Notes post from my colleagues in the kitchen, you will read about how we preserved last year's tomato harvest during the pandemic – they have been a tremendous treat to start to taste now that they are ready to sample!


Also this week, I'm finishing up the garlic harvest, bringing cured and dry bulbs to the kitchen for use. I've started pulling the first of the new potatoes, and I'll be slowly harvesting more of those over the next couple of weeks. Those beds will be replanted with guajillo and gochujang chili peppers, as well as some fall flowers for cutting.


Our carrot flower beds are in full production, pumping out plenty of filler for arrangements around campus. Otherwise, I'm harvesting edible flowers and baby greens for this weekend's garnishes and am looking forward to what next week has in store. 


--Campus Gardener Mike MacDonald 


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