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GWA Garden Tour Diary #2 of 5 – Urban Edibles

As promised, I have the next set of garden tour photos for you today from my adventures at the Garden Writer Association conference in Portland, OR.

After visiting Nancyland, our tour bus stopped at the urban edible garden of Glen Andersen.

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Completely organic, the entire garden is designed to be a very efficient, high-production food garden. Located on a standard urban lot (60′ x 100′), this garden has been producing food for 21 years. Above, you see his onion harvest drying on the porch.

Look at all the photos of this amazing edible garden after the jump…

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The first thing you notice as you walk onto the property are the bees. There are ten working colonies on this tiny plot of land and when I say working, I mean WORKING!  They were busy as…well, bees!

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Golden jars of fresh honey were on display on Glen’s front porch that he had collected and processed from his own hives. Each honeybee colony produces an average of 80 pounds of honey per year. He uses the bees to keep his garden working in the most efficient manner possible.

I did wonder, however, how his neighbors feel about all the bees and if he had to get special permission to hold so many in an urban setting. I never got a chance to ask Glen about it. If someone knows the answer, please post it below!

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In order to best utilize space, Glen planted many of his fruit trees as an espalier fence running the perimeter of his vegetable garden. He did a very beautiful job. I’ve grown my own espalier apple trees and I know how much work it takes to make them look that perfect. Glen has done a very nice job with his.

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The little paper bags you see on some of the apples are protecting the fruit from a moth caterpillar while still allowing air flow. As the fruit matures, Glen removes the bags.

Glen’s garden has 15 raised vegetable beds, a row each of raspberries, Marionberries,and blueberries. He also has a grape arbor, a strawberry patch and herbs. His thriving ecosystem welcomes a wide array of beneficial insects and birds that keep would-be pests at bay.

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As you would imagine, Glen is big on composting. All of his garden prunings, clippings, litter and leaves stay on the property and are recycled into compost. He also created his own irrigation system which utilized water from a rain barrel.

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We were drooling over these tomatoes. They were so ripe, we joked that they could have accidentally falling into our pocket if we brushed by close enough. Oh…the temptation was great…but none of us picked. We just drooled and walked on by…

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This final shot is of the neighbor’s garden through Glen’s fence. Lovely!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.