Yes, these are up-turned plastic buckets in our field. They are part of an experiment we are doing with Georgeanne Brennen. Georgeanne is a cookbook writer and I am sure you have seen her articles in the Chronicle food section. She came back with packets of seed from her summer trip to Provence and we embarked on an adventure to grow all these varieties of Radicchio and Escarole. The role of the buckets is too blanch the inner leaves of the Escarole. In Provence you can buy a huge escarole with a yellow/white blanched center. Jim, her husband, was convinced that the buckets would blow away and annoy my neighbor. They have stayed put and last week we took the first escarole to the market. It seems like their is a crowd that knows what it is as it sold easily and quickly. The freeze before christmas has damages the outer leaves so we only sold the blanched centers. As you can imagine Jose raised an eyebrow when I asked him to place the buckets on the plants three weeks ago.Next year we will space out the plants to allow them to get bigger. The radicchio did not fare well in the freeze so we have not been able to make an evaluation of the varieties. Georgeanne is often seen around the farm picking produce which she uses for photo shoots for her books and articles.