Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cabrillo College Horticulture Department - What a greenhouse!

Santa Cruz is blessed with a great community college, Cabrillo. And as it is near the glorious growing regions around Watsonville, Cabrillo has a large horticulture program, with a lot of focus on propagation.

Mr Rat and I had some time to kill recently and decided to take a look-see. Maybe in fall next year I'll take a class - I hear Professor Andrews has some excellent classes on gardening with natives.

The main greenhouse is nothing short of spectacular. It's a proper range with two wings and a central area for driving in materials and doing all kinds of work.

Main greenhouse range from front

Main range from side - showing double roof - and cool tractor (with flat tire, I now notice!)
A student inside the middle part (I forget the technical term!) said I could take a peek inside the greenhouse. I just looked in at one side.

The big central work area

In one of the greenhouse wings - very high tech looking all around!

Enormous tomato plants growing in the greenhouse, held up somehow on strings.

In some simpler greenhouse type structures lettuces were growing hydroponically.
Organic and hydroponic too!

I also love shade structures - they are really more useful for my needs than a greenhouse. But I have only a small shaded area so far in my garden.

Shade structure
And I love mixing soil.
Planting medium mixer. I want one of these!! - well, not really but - well - yes really!
 The horticulture area is waaay at the top of the hill. You can look out from this second marine terrace, onto the first marine terrace, and out to the Monterey Bay, a marine sanctuary.

The horticulture department sits on the edge of the second marine terrace. I'll write about Santa Cruz marine terraces another time. I'm just starting to get into local geology.

It was a cloudy day, the sea was silvered o'er.

Of course agriculture is important in our region too.

Mmm strawberries - this garden is sponsored by Gayles Bakery in Capitola, where I take my dad often for an afternoon treat. There was also a permaculture kitchen garden area.

Landscaping and landscape construction is also covered by various classes.
Amazing water collection and storage system!


It's not the best time to visit in terms of what's growing - but still, there were quite a few attractive features.

Isn't this a fun idea - planting in a fountain!

There is an extensive salvia garden - here, one of the few places where the plants were in bloom. I forgot to note what region these salvias came from (the garden is organized by geographical region).

An interesting water feature
Not a lot of native gardening in evidence - but a couple nice meadow areas.

Festuca rubra "lumpy lawn"
I'm looking forward to visiting again in spring!



3 comments:

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

CRFG does their scion exchange up there each winter, so I've had a couple of chances to wander around their greenhouses and garden areas. The views are spectacular, I agree, and I love their sage gardens. In January their gardens are easily 2-3 weeks ahead of ours, as they get some fabulous sun up on that ridge. I'm with you though, what I couldn't do with a setup like that! ;)

James said...

Love the cascade of succulents! I enjoy seeing what the the next gen hort folks are being taught. We also have a good hort program in the county, but it requires a long commute into the worst of traffic for us city folks who need it most. Maybe I'll get a chance to join the next gen once I'm retired...

Country Mouse said...

It's a bit of a trek for me to get to Cabrillo too - about 35 mins maybe from our place, but I am looking forward to participating in their offerings - now I am retired! I look forward to seeing that area again with fabulous sun on the ridge!