The Local Food Report: county garden

There's a demonstration garden at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds in East Falmouth. It's an educational exhibit, and it's always open to the public. You ought to go check it out in person—it's a county resource, and it's fantastic. But just in case you have to work for the rest of August or the traffic's too much, let's take a virtual tour:

We're standing in the middle of nine raised beds. The one you see up there is full of soybeans, and the one behind us is freshly planted with chard and lettuces. You can see Russ Norton, horticultural educator for the county, giving them some water below.

You can also see the six huge high bush blueberry plants behind him. They're on the outside of the area where the raised beds are, surrounded on all sides by chicken wire and fence. They're very, very well protected. 

There are also red and white onions:

and purple cabbage:

and sweet potatoes:

Who would have thought they grew like that, in a big tangle of vines? I didn't even realize sweet potatoes grew here, this far north, on Cape Cod without a miracle or a greenhouse.  So long as you get right varieties, they do great. (Those are Bonita, Evangeline, and Beauregard.) 

Same goes for artichokes. Russ says the varieties that do well here are Violetto and Imperial Star:

The garden was also sporting the most fantastic tomato cages I've seen in a long time. They were homemade, built out of stakes, and about 10 feet high. 

I left this place pretty inspired. What do you think? Will you plant ground cherries next year? Build tomato cages? Plant a bed of sweet potatoes and embrace the vines? 

8.27.12 Here's a P.S. photo for anonymous! 


Laurie said...

I recently realized it was possible to grow artichokes here. Surprising to see them there too. Must try growing some!

Christine said...

The best part about planting husk cherries is that you only have to do it once! They volunteer every year afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful garden! Any other photos of the tomato cages, maybe from more of a distance? I'm interested in building something similar next year.

Teresa Parker said...

Ooooh artichokes! And sweet potatoes. Taller tomatoes. Also bigger garlic. I can see them now in next year's garden. But I am reading this book about keeping one's mind in the present moment. Would it be cheating to say that this year is going to be the year of the compost? I mean, we can start the giant, new, built-to-be hot pile this very day.

(And shhhh, but it will be great for the potatoes, tomatoes...).

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