Bear Bites: The Hidden Villa Garden

2 mins read

Nestled between several trail systems in the Mid-Peninsula Open Space Preserve, Hidden Villa is home not only to a couple dozen sheep and other farm animals but also to a vegetable garden accessible only by a tunnel made of PVC pipe. We stumbled upon this gem in the middle of an eleven-mile rainstorm run and couldn’t resist sampling some of the delectable dishes it had to offer.


Cleo (10/10)

Chives can sometimes have a somewhat bitter aftertaste when eaten by themselves, but these chives did not. They had a very subtle roasted garlic flavor. I would highly recommend.

Gaby (10/10)

These chives were perfectly crisp and chewy and incredibly refreshing after six miles of running. They had a slight kick to them and a gentle garlic flavor that reminded me of warm Amici’s garlic breadsticks. They were absolutely delicious––I ate at least two stalks.


Cleo (7/10)

This mint initially tasted like normal mint, but this flavor quickly gave way to a citronella-like aftertaste which might have been nice for lemongrass, but was off-putting for mint. I would still give this mint a somewhat good rating since I really like mint, but as far as mint goes, it was not great.

Gaby (4/10)

Normally, I am a mint enthusiast, but the Hidden Villa mint is unsettling. Though its taste initially presents like mint, the flavor quickly dissolves into something resembling dish soap and chemicals. This is followed by a dry and difficult-to-chew texture that makes the entire experience fairly unpleasant.


Cleo (10/10)

As with the chives, I was initially concerned that the flavor of the kale would be too strong without something to balance it out. However, this kale defied my expectations. It had a nice texture—not too tough—and a subtly sharp flavor that wasn’t overpowering but prevented the kale from having a boring lettuce-like flavor.

Gaby (10/10)

This kale was amazing in every way possible. It had the perfect balance of crisp, crunchy stem, to soft and sweet leaves. The kale tasted both incredibly fresh and earthy—enough to send a Whole Foods mom into orbit.


Cleo (2/10)

This rhubarb was definitely not ready to be eaten. Rhubarb is known for having a bitter flavor, so I wasn’t expecting anything bland, but this rhubarb went beyond bitter. It gets a couple points for offering a nice after-taste after I had already spit it out, but it was definitely not worth it. If you want rhubarb, don’t eat it in March.

Gaby (0/10)

I initially had no interest in trying this rhubarb, but Cleo persuaded me to try it. Needless to say, I should never have listened to her because this rhubarb was impressively putrid. After one small bite, my mouth was instantly overtaken by its bitter and chemical-resembling taste. The stem’s strange stringy yet stale texture was as unappealing as its taste. I cannot stress this enough: do not come near any rhubarb plants.


Cleo (7/10)

The marjoram had a nice oregano-like flavor. It wasn’t particularly outstanding, but a solid choice if you aren’t a fan of any of the other leaves we’ve listed above.

Gaby (7/10)

Though I initially thought this marjoram was lamb’s ear due to the fuzzy texture of its leaves, this plant tasted almost exactly like oregano. Its flavor reminded me of Italian seasoning and pizza Goldfish but wasn’t anything earth-shattering. This was a decent and mellow snack that I think would be enjoyable for most.


Cleo (0/10)

I didn’t try the fennel cause I don’t like fennel, but I can confidently say that it would have been bad.

Gaby (6/10)

I tried the fennel out of curiosity, and it was fairly underwhelming. I had to try it multiple times in order to taste the signature fennel flavor. Though it didn’t taste poorly, its flavor was fairly watered down and its texture was unusually spiky. Overall, the fennel was decent, but nothing to write home about.

Cleo is a senior in her third year of journalism. She enjoys writing about issues impacting the M-A community, particularly environmental issues. She is also on the M-A cross-country and track teams.

Gaby is a sophomore at M-A and is in her second year of journalism. This year, she is looking forward to writing about local and on campus issues. In her free time she likes to listen to music, run, and spend time with friends.

Latest from Bear Bites