|Click here to see the EC Garden on the Campus Map|
|South of The Domes & Orchard Park, north of the Student Farm|
|(fenced in), and across Orchard Park Drive from the greenhouses.|
|Click here to email the EC Garden Coordinator|
|Phone - please email|
|Official EC Garden webpage|
|> EC Garden Contract|
|> EC Garden Application|
The Experimental College Community Garden, or EC Garden, is a peaceful garden space where both the general public and UCD students, staff and faculty can have common ground. Anybody can rent a 10'x20' plot for an annual $35 plot fee - or $25 to garden Sep. through Feb. No deposit, just plot fees. You can also do work-trade to make your plots cheaper, and the work hour tasks can be collaborative, solo, drop-in or work day efforts.
The EC Garden is coordinated by the Experimental College and has been at its present location just outside the campus core, nestled up against Highway 113 by the Student Farm since 1970, when the irrigation was installed - finished around 1972. The garden has always been run according to organic standards. Water, tools, mulch, manure and gardening advice are included in your plot rental. Gardeners may plant annuals, biennials and perennials, including fruit and nut trees - they just have to be labeled with a permanent sign so that the next gardener knows what they've got. Usually community gardens don't have enough space for trees; so we're lucky ;)
The EC Garden also offers internships if you want to learn about gardening and help build this community resource.
To Rent a Plot at the EC Garden
Please download an application and fill it out. Then email the EC Garden Coordinator with your interest, and set an appointment to take the orientation tour. It takes about an hour to take the tour, find your plot and pay with check, cash or money order.
You may work in trade for membership and land at the EC Garden, even on a cashless basis. It's only $2 per hour, but after a year of controlling the weeds outside of your plot, you could rent the next year for free - or expand into more plots. Folks can do many tasks, including garden maintenance, as well as computer work and tabling at the Davis Farmers Markets. Pay OR work, then start gardening and enjoy the harvest. Email if interested.
EC Garden Neighbors
The Domies [collective students residing in the dome-shaped homes at Baggins End Innovative Housing] have their own gardens to the north. They recently completed a really cool yurt that took considerable effort to get designed, approved and constructed. You can see their Wiki at The Domes.
Orchard Park Apartments - UCD student housing - has a community garden (for Orchard Park Apts. residents) to the northwest that used to be really great, but it's mostly overgrown now. A new group of gardeners is starting to rent plots closest to the apartments and emanating from there. Manure and rice hull mulch are freely available.
The Student Farm runs the organically certified Market Garden CSA - to the south and the open fields to the south and west, which is under market price with a really long wait-list; so if interested, get on the waiting list now!
Sisters of the Moon manage a woodsy, dark and secluded, private part of the Student Farm.
Insects and Animals at the Garden
Relatively large populations of ground squirrels and rats seem to share a cyclical relationship that, until recently, was more like a tag-team war on our crops, especially corn and squash. Jack rabbits nibble to a lesser degree, while slugs, squash bugs and pincer bugs slash away at spring seedlings. Wild turkeys have been homesteading in this area for at least the last few years (no input food storage ;) and pheasants and coyotes have been seen around. Perhaps a fox has her den out there too. When roosting, the barn owls are squeaking, and (sightless) voles are still voling.
There is also a large population of gophers who've developed a keen appreciation for onions and garlic. They are mostly a nuisance during the winter and spring. Brian Yoxall, an EC gardener has written a gopher manifesto which will help you manage your gopher population.
Some gardeners keep chickens, which are also found at the Student Farm and the Domes. Chickens and chicken coops are tentatively allowed at the EC Garden, but the gardener must abide by a short set of requirements to keep this super-fowl at the ECG. Organic eggs, fresh from the garden! Not many community gardens can suckle such a crop. Who wants to keep quail or rabbits?
Work Days and Events
Sandrine Journet working in the EC Garden To get involved, read our contract, apply for a plot, schedule a tour (even if you're just curious), or join our EC Garden Friends listserv (email your request to Coordinator). Volunteer work tasks are mostly drop-in but can be organized projects as well. Work days and events are announced on the EC Gardeners listserv. You could also attend one of our winter campfires (must be permitted by UCD Fire Dept.) - to be announced.
There's plenty of room for new gardeners at the EC Garden. It's a great big treasure with loads of opportunity. Another option for gardening in Davis is the Davis Community Garden a.k.a. the 5th St.Community Garden; although it doesn't have as much space for incoming gardeners - if interested, get on the wait list now! The 5th St. garden is a smaller well-managed garden that's located downtown and has less pest pressure than the ECG; so depending on your luck, it can be easier to get a harvest there. For more information, see the gardening page.
Growing Hops at the EC Garden
Hops plant Currently there are at least 4 gardeners at the EC garden who are growing hops to be used in homebrewed beer. Hops is a perennial plant that grow long vines, up to thirty feet in length, and produces flowers called hop cones which are used to bitter and flavor beer. Below is a picture of a hop cone with hop vines, also called bines, in the background. In the spring of 2009, the Merry Growlers of Davis started a new hop plot in the EC garden. To learn how to grow hops you can go to the Merry Growlers of Davis page where they are documenting their progress and experiences on growing hops.
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2010-03-02 00:23:23 The Art Walk last fall was so great- March 20 2010 is the next scheduled one! Artists, you can show your work! Musicians, you could play your art! Community, you can enjoy snacks and friends! contact gardenartwalks (at) gmail (dot) com or facebook it for another path of communication. Meet up in the gardens and enjoy the day, the plants, the music, the local/regional art. Wonderful venue. =] —maia