Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Sep 14th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Green Things

Renee’s garden keeps on growing

greenthingsRenee, Renee, how does your garden grow? With Asian greens and seedlings, and pretty flowers all in a row. OK, so that’s a spin-off of an old nursery rhyme, but somehow it seems fitting for a local woman who’s the master of her own garden—Renee Shepard.

Up in the colorful hills of Felton you can find Shepard wandering amongst fragrant flora and green veggies in her garden. She may be sampling the latest that has sprouted up in her dirt beds, picking out dinner, or analyzing what she’ll be packaging in an upcoming assortment of her famous seeds. Mostly, though, you’ll find a woman whom some are calling a pioneer in the gardening world, specifically in the case of Asian greens like baby bok choy or pat soi, a flat rosette of dark green leaves.

Recently Shepard, who owns the wholesale business Renee’s Garden, up in Felton, was featured in an article in the Sunset Western Garden Book. The topic: Her compelling knowledge about those Asian greens.

But that’s not all the gardening maven is good at. Since holding down her own business in 1997, this green thumb has been churning out cookbooks, and she has written scads of articles for well-known gardening magazines.

The long-time local has earned a steadfast reputation as the go-to girl for supplying both education and seeds to home gardeners. Some of her favorites to plant these days in the Asian greens niche include the aforementioned baby bok choy, pat soi and mizuna (a mild green that looks like serrated arugula but is much sweeter). All these veggies are prime choices to plant in Santa Cruz County-based gardens. “The nice thing about the Santa Cruz area is that you can plant them in the spring and plant another one in the fall,” Shepard says. “Plant the seeds and eat the young plants, and leave the remaining ones to grow bigger.”

Walk out to your garden and pluck any of these fast growing, low-maintenance Asian greens. Say you choose the baby bok choy. Now apply a Shepard recipe: Sautee the veggie with some garlic, ginger and hot chilis, and voila—you have a simple stirfry that’s flush with exquisite taste. Or maybe recreate a salad that this professional gardener recently dined on. While this recipe doesn’t use Asian greens, it’s still lean and green: Pluck some Italian escarole (salad greens) from your garden, throw in some tangerine sections and toasted nuts, and serve up a side dish. Just don’t forget to water those seeds outside.

For more information, visit reneesgarden.com.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

A Different Revolution

Aries Moon late Wednesday and Thursday. We think new thoughts and initiate new ideas. Sun in Virgo with Saturn in Scorpio help disciples to create orderly structures to anchor and bring forth new ideas. Stabilizing Taurus moon Friday and Saturday. We anchor new ideas into form and matter, like seeds planted in the soil. We tend them, waiting for green shoots to emerge. Like the gestating Virgo Sun Madonna, awaiting the birth of the holy child, the Soul, the new light at winter solstice. Mercury and Chiron converse about what hurts and what heals.Saturday is a complex day with Mercury (communication), Mars (action!) and Uranus (revolution). Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries. Oppositions (recognizing something new appearing over there somewhere) eventually synthesize. Mercury in Libra calls for Right Action and Right Relations, especially with money. Uranus in Aries—the revolution this time must be different.  Also on Saturday, Mars enters Sagittarius. Where are we going, what are our goals, where’s justice, where’s the mountain, do we have good shoes? Sunday Venus trines Pluto—in-depth assessment of money, values and resources. Gemini moon Monday; we talk a lot, tending to tasks in gardens and neighborhoods. Cancer Moon Tuesday and Wednesday; we nurture and nourish. The stars and planets remind us.Note: William Meader, esoteric author & international teacher, will be speaking on “The Soul of Humanity Evolving Through Crisis” at Meditation Mount, 7pm, Friday, Sept. 12.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wood Fire Woodie

Scotts Valley pizzeria gets fired up the old-school way

 

What's your all-time best Skyview Flea Market score?

Santa Cruz | eBay Business

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Soquel’s Pinot Winner

When you taste Soquel Vineyards’ extraordinary 2012 Partners’ Reserve Pinot Noir, you will know why it won a Double Gold in June at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition.