August 8, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

scientist in the garden

3 min read

Are you doing your pandemic garden, even if it’s on a balcony or windowsill? How’s it going? If not, you might consider it as a source of both fresh produce and some peace from the COVID-19 stress. The other day I went to one of my favorite nurseries here in the Sacramento area and it seemed like everyone had the same idea as the garden center was packed. In fact, it was more than packed. When I finally checked out there were 20 people …Read More

2 min read

I don’t study frogs, but they’ve sure been studying bugs in my garden this year. Every so often and more frequently in summer I post about experiences as a scientist in the garden. As long-time readers know, I’m a bit obsessed with growing tomatoes. You can see past posts on tomatoes and tips on how to grow great ones here. I’m going to do a new post on tomatoes soon, but this post is more about frogs. Why frogs? I’ve lived in Davis for …Read More

3 min read

What’s better than fresh “fruit” from your own tomato garden? For the last few years when I think about planning my summer tomato garden, I start months in advance preparing the soil. I had fava beans as my cover crop all this past winter and tilled it into the soil late in winter. It adds a lot to the soil in terms of nutrients and nitrogen. You can see in a plant I had just pulled up the little root nodules that crank out …Read More

3 min read

What are human lab rats? And I don’t mean humans in a clinical trial. I’m one of those people who can accurately be called “lab rats” in the sense of a scientist loving being in the lab doing experiments, analyzing data, and so forth. Ever since I started as a lab technician in 1990, I found myself very at home in the lab. I wouldn’t say I completely love the smell of methanol, chloroform, or other organics or even other typical lab smells that …Read More