From THE CONCORD JOURNAL:
Garden tours are in the spotlight at the Farm and Garden Fair, which will be held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 at six locations around town. The fair continues on Sunday, Sept. 13, with farm tours and the Stone Soup Dinner.
Farmers and gardeners share much in common. Both are concerned about earlier growing seasons and extreme weather conditions that bring new diseases and pests.
Gardens are often seen as mere hobbies, and yet, whether we call them home, food or kitchen gardens, or school, corporate or community gardens, they are popping up all over, with a 30 percent increase in the last five years. They follow an emerging trend toward building a sustainable food system that is good for the environment, ensures food security and is economically viable.
Meet Kim Wass, a member of the Garden Club of Concord, who coordinated last year’s private home gardens tour, and who is a fervent gardener.
One visitor wrote, “What a wonderful way to learn, from our neighbors! I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned quite a bit.”
The Garden Club is a member of the Concord Gardeners Cooperative and promotes appreciation and development of gardens and the natural environment in the Concord community through education and community service projects with a more recent focus on sustainable gardening.
Nancy Heselton is a Gaining Ground board member whose home garden was featured by the Garden Club last year. Gaining Ground grows vegetables and fruit with the help of hundreds of community volunteers and donates all of this fresh food to area meal programs and food pantries. Heselton follows biodynamic gardening, a system that uses a diversified, balanced ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the garden itself. She believes that gardening is a great way to meet neighbors, create community and ensure food for all.
Although sustainability is hard to define, both gardeners feel they are shifting the paradigm by integrating food production with ornamentals, thereby producing beautiful, nutritious food to share with family and friends. As a result, they approach gardening with more respect, toleration and understanding of what is at stake.
You are invited to chart your course among all the Gardens on Tour.
The Garden Club offers three gardens to visit, a three-season organic garden with veggies, flowers, raspberries, fruit trees and bees; a neighborhood herb community-supported agriculture garden that brings neighbors together; and a front-yard vegetable garden complete with chickens.
Other Gardening Cooperative member tours include a garden walk and talk at Riverwalk, an energy efficient community centered around a shared, organic garden; seed saving hands-on demonstration and discussion by the Seed Lending Library; harvest fun in the heirloom kitchen garden at historic Thoreau Farm or go on a golden potato treasure hunt at Gaining Ground.