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The Good Life

Early spring at the Good Life Garden.

The Good Life.

Since I moved back to Davis after a 10-year hiatus, things look different to me. I’m older, wiser, and appreciate things that support a healthy lifestyle. Many changes I see have been welcomed surprises, like the Good Life Garden located at the Robert Mondavi Institute (aka RMI). I recall rushing to my noon seminar during fall quarter at RMI and being stopped in my tracks by the allure of this beautiful garden that is a feast for the eyes and the belly.

This multifunctional garden spot, which by the way, is chock full of benches and designated walking paths for your exploration, is a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers that grow seasonally in Davis. In short; it’s beautiful. Today I wandered through lush patches of red kale, artichokes, cabbage and even the edible flower nasturtium. Yum. My mouth watered and my mind calmed. This place makes green veggies look like an art form.

Artichoke in bloom.

The best part about it: I can enjoy this garden and not have to be a gardener. To be sure, I love everything about gardening…except actually doing it. A green thumb is not something I possess. Thank goodness the The Good Life garden is tended by volunteers, and dedicated staff like Arlene Kennedy. I can even pick veggies and herbs on designated picking days. Cooking with herbs and veggies, now that I can do!

This garden just speaks to the creative way that we can educate and inspire people to eat healthy foods without it seeming like drudgery. Everything in this garden looks amazing, vibrant, and beckons you to want to dive right into a plateful of produce. I especially love the herb varieties, including the lavender, which goes really well in lamb dishes (with rosemary) or in shortbreads. It’s also just extremely calming.

cornucopia of goodies for your picking pleasure

Want to get a taste of the action? Visit http://www.goodlifegarden..edu/ to learn more about the garden, get some recipes, sign up for the news letter of find out about events. They even have a blog…check it out. You might see a recent guest post by yours truly! The recipes are seasonally based and not so much for the basic cook, but for those who love flavor and creativity in the kitchen. Um…yes, please!

I caught up with a grad student, Henry Yeung, who is lucky enough to have a lab with a garden view. “The best thing is….”, he says is “It’s quite relaxing to be able to look out into the garden, especially when the sun is out. Sometimes I’ll nap from my chair and face the garden to hide my face and my lab mates will believe I am just in deep thought”. Clever.

To get there: The garden is located on Old Davis Road at the Robert Mondavi Institute (Orange building) on the South side of the street. Ride your bike or walk otherwise you’ll pay to park on weekdays. Pop over on Saturday morning for some veggie motivation and then head to farmer’s market to get some produces and get cookin’!

Flowers good enough to eat (for real!)

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