Explore the Organic Vegetable Garden at FloraFest!
The Organic Vegetable Garden (OVG), a demonstration garden supported by MGNV and maintained by Extension Master Gardeners (EMGs), will be a part of Potomac Overlook Regional Park’s Florafest on Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The OVG is located in the park at 2845 Marcey Road, Arlington.
During Florafest, EMGs will lead tours of the garden, which has been extensively rebuilt over the past months and now features raised beds throughout. In addition, EMGs will explain the magic of seeds and help children pot up some to take home.
No reservations are required, and all activities are free.
The OVG became a demonstration garden in 2000 to 2001 and enjoys a successful collaboration with the park. In this garden, EMGs focus on sustainable, urban vegetable gardening and gain experience in growing plants from seeds, crop rotation, composting, seasonal vegetable gardening techniques, using an on-site watering system (including a rain barrel), developing community education materials, and hosting public education events.
Ongoing challenges to successful gardening include the OVG’s location in a natural wooded setting and the need to improve the soil (See Best Bets to Enrich Soil with cover crops.) The 20-foot high “wildlife exclusion” fence surrounding the garden successfully keeps out deer but does not deter smaller animals and insects. EMGs use various techniques to protect plants: crop cages, row covers, and efforts to attract beneficial insects.
Perhaps the most daunting problem, though, is one that cannot be controlled—weather. EMGs have been noting changes in the garden due to the changing climate and how these changes are affecting crops.
Most of the produce grown is donated to local food banks, primarily through the Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture bagging program. Recently there has been an emphasis on growing various kinds of peppers and beans to meet the need.