The Teaching Garden

Just beyond the Barden Barn was a wet patch of pasture at the bottom of the hill which seemed never to dry out. Too wet to plow with machinery, it has been converted to a vegetable garden over several years beginning with Tom McQuade in 2014. Tom’s approach was to see how much could be done by hand. After a plow was broken hitting a big rock with a tractor, he dug vegetable beds, created and turned compost piles, and taught several workshops in basic gardening skills. Later, animal power was added to the garden and it was enlarged. In 2020 the garden was “tiled” by digging a ditch and laying a drainage pipe down the middle of a swale so that the garden will be less wet in the spring. The vegetables grown in the teaching garden are coordinated with the hoop houses and vegetable gardens at the Merrill farm at the end of Ring Road a mile beyond the Main House.