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Immerse yourself in 5 senses at Ocean Glimpse Farm during Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
A troop of scarecrows is a highlight at Ocean Glimpse Farm in Northport.

NORTHPORT — Ocean Glimpse Farm is awash in summertime colors, smells, tastes and sounds as Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days Series continues 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, July 15, at the home of Judy Berk and David Foley, 232 Beech Hill Road.

This brimming cooperative garden is organically managed in a sunny 3-acre field shared by five co-gardeners (in years past by as many as 14) since 1990. The vegetable garden portion bears offerings from artichokes to Brussels sprouts, tomatoes to zucchini, and a rainbow of lettuces and greens. Some rows curve across hillier sections, preventing erosion and adding artistic grace.

At the center of the garden a troop of fantastical scarecrows adorned with clothing remnants, masks, and plastic and metal scraps holds court. A hoop-house grows spring seedlings and winter greens. Water comes to the garden from the farm pond by way of a solar-powered pump. The garden’s fertility is provided by compost, rotating green manure cover crops, and the llama farm down the road. In addition a mobile chicken tractor powered by 25 Freedom Rangers fertilizes cover crops, while meat birds are grown for the freezer.

Visitors are encouraged to stroll the extensive Food Grove, which includes more than 2,000 trees and shrubs: mulberry, peach, walnut, raspberries, blueberries, heirloom apples and apricot trees as well as a Turkish hazelnut, which could be expecting its first fruit this year. A new 90-foot-long arbor beautifully designed and crafted by David Foley has replaced a support for a long-standing swath of hearty kiwi and grapes which collapsed last winter. Oyster and shiitake mushrooms complete the edible offerings.

Hand-built fieldstone walls define beds where summer’s hot colors are in full bloom; spikes of delphinium, hollyhocks and Shirley poppies weave in among 20-30 kinds of fanciful day lilies, honeysuckle, black-eyed Susan and bee balm.

The lively atmosphere will be completed by garden sculpture by clay artist Randy Fein and the music of GAC Chamber Ensemble — Tom Riesgo, cello; Fredi LaPorte, violin; Ellen Sinclair, violin; Mary Kaldenbaugh, violin; and Sandy Keller, viola — who will play quartet arrangements of gospel, classical and American traditional music from 1 to 3 p.m.

Co-gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. Uneven ground may be difficult for handicapped people.

Directions: From Route 1 South, turn right on Beech Hill Road. Travel about 1.4 miles up hill. Park along one side of driveway. Garden will be open rain or shine.

Tickets can be purchased at each garden, on the day of the tour for a donation of $4 for one garden, $15 for a five-visit ticket. Proceeds from the 2011 Garden Tour will benefit the club’s civic beautification projects.

The sixth annual Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days, features 13 gardens in the Belfast area —Belfast, Belmont, Searsport, Searsmont, Bayside and Northport. One garden a week will be open to the public 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays, through Aug. 26, rain or shine.

BGC Open Garden Days’ next garden will be July 22 at the Finch-Holmes Garden & Art Studio, 33 Battery Road, Belfast, a friendly, casual garden style cascading with stone-walled islands of color from the art studio down to ocean’s edge. Natural woodland ferns abound and harvested seaweed is decoratively used as mulch placed under plants by color (browns and black). There is a spectacular 16-foot trellis designed by Finch at the stream. Garden art includes Zen stone piles, diminutive bronze sculptures by Finch, huge metal sculptures by David McLaughlin, a Forest Hart sea otter and botanical paintings on easels (weather permitting) by Kerstin Engman and Jerri Finch. Art studio is open; paintings are for sale. Handicapped accessible.

For more information; Martha Laitin at 948-2815, belfastgardenclub@gmail.com, or visit www.belfastgardenclub.org.

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