From the community

Get a sense of summer at Ocean Glimpse Farm during Open Garden Days

Posted July 11, 2011, at 11:29 a.m.
Summer in swing at Ocean Glimpse Farm
Summer in swing at Ocean Glimpse Farm
A rainbow of lettuce at Ocean Glimpse Farm
A rainbow of lettuce at Ocean Glimpse Farm

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

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 brussel 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 growing meat birds for the freezer.

Visitors are encouraged to stroll the extensive “Food Grove” which includes over 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’ 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 shitaki 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 amongst 20-30 kinds of fanciful daylilies, honeysuckle, black-eyed Susan, and beebalm.

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; Sandy Keller- Viola) who will play quartet arrangements of gospel, classical and American traditional music from 1-3pm.

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

Directions: From Rt. 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, or $15 for a five-visit ticket. Proceeds from the 2011 Garden Tour will benefit the Club’s civic beautification projects.

The 6th annual Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days, features 13

gardens in the Belfast area (Belfast, Belmont, Searsport, Searsmont,

Bayside and Northport). One garden per week will be open to the

public from 10-4 Fridays, through August 26, 2011, 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 along the way from the art studio down to the ocean’s edge. Natural woodland ferns abound and harvested seaweed is decoratively used as mulch placed under plants by color (browns and black). Spectacular 16’ trellis designed by Finch at 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. Handicap accessible.

For more information; Martha Laitin at 948-2815,

belfastgardenclub@gmail.com, or visit www.belfastgardenclub.org.

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