picnic day

Picnic day 2019: The Davis Watercress Adventure Awaits- A blog by Suzanne Milner

A tradition that has been running for over a century in Davis, this year’s picnic day was the first in which we participated and it was agreenhouse plants great success. There is a wide range of events at picnic day including Doxie Derby, cockroach racing, DNA extractions, chick hatching, a petting zoo, sports games and so many more. Our lab group, along with an estimated 75,000 visitors, enjoyed a range of events. My favourite each year is always the parade but others in our group enjoyed cow milking and battle of the bands.

Each year, the plant sciences department hold a plant giveaway. The department give away thousands of tomatoes, strawberry plants and this year, Taylorlab gave away 2,000 watercress plants. Interest in the watercress was high but many didn’t recognise the plant and surprisingly a large number of people had not even heard of it. In the UK, watercress is commonly found on restaurant menus and can be bought from any supermarket. It’s known as a superfood because it has high concentrations of vitamin C, iron and importantly, antioxidants. The crop is grown across South England because it does well in the chalky soils and streams of the south. But despite loving British streams, it grows well in soil and we have had great success growing the crop in the glasshouses in Davis. With so many people in Davis now with their own plant, hopefully this superfood will increase in popularity here too.  


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