Chef’s Garden at the Inn

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A concise 6-month history of the Chef’s Garden:  in January, on the cold grey day of my first visit to Chebeague Island, I stood on a lawn at the Inn and was asked there to create a Chef’s Garden.

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IMG_4795In March, enthusiasm was high.  The chef offered his list of desired plants and my friends at Frinklepod Farm, Noah Wentworth and Flora Brown,  started the vegy, herb and flower seedings; David Buchanan, of Portersfield Cider, shared advice on berries and stone fruits; Nance Klehm, from the Seed Temple in Estancia, New Mexico, sent seeds of the 4 sisters: Corn, Pole Beans, Winter Squash and Sunflowers.

In April, Chuck Varney, of Second Wind Farm on Chebeague Island, plowed and turned the sod, we amended the soil, and then tilled to break the clumps.  We had neither time nor materials to sheet mulch; on the island, bulk compost and mulch are available only if barged over in a dump truck, so we have worked with the soil at hand.  The ground laid fallow a few weeks and then we worked our way across the field picking out roots and clumps of dried grass.

In late-May, on a rain-drenched day, Noah and I hauled across the bay crates filled with the starts and seeds: japanese eggplants, red and white onions, varieties of tomatoes, peppers, butternut and buttercup squash, bush beans, radishes, carrots, beets, slicing cucumbers, and a potager’s array of herbs and flowers.  Some seeds failed to germinate.  Some plants have been slow to take root.  Overall, the garden is flowering and fruits are forming on the vines.

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IMG_4798The chef has said that he walks through the garden to relax during long days in the kitchen.  Today, he harvested eggplants, peppers, squash blossoms, herbs and edible flowers for this evening’s menu.

How wonderful to see an idea coming to fruition, and to know that customers have been fed from our shared efforts.

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5 Comments on “Chef’s Garden at the Inn”

  1. John Mahany says:

    Wonderful!! Fruits of the earth! This is wonderful to read about…as a city dweller I can only imagine…

  2. bam says:

    heart-burstingly proud of you. xoxox

  3. John Mahany says:

    this is wonderfully written…I am learning as I read it…yes, amazing what you have done…how wonderful to see an idea come to fruition…and feed the customers. Proud of you!! hugs, jsm

  4. laurielebreton says:

    Wow! I didn’t know! What a wonderful project.

    love Laurie

    Laurie Wessman LeBreton 2650 N. Lakeview, #310 Chicago, IL 60614 312/338-1309

    http://laurielebreton.net/

  5. Oma says:

    That is a really Fresh Garden,The food must be marvelous.Thanks to you…


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