Roughly five years ago, Jason Nies and I discussed the idea of creating a garden on The Inn at Honey Run grounds where fresh produce would be grown for use in Tarragon’s creative cuisine. Spring forward to today – that idea has materialized into a two-acre plot of land with fruit trees, raised beds, and a brand-new greenhouse. A lot has happened to get to this point. Do I wish we were farther along? YES! Five years is a long time to wait! Yet, those formative years have allowed me time to design a well-thought-out garden plan that will not only provide the freshest ingredients for our restaurant, but will hopefully inspire our guests who stroll through the planted rows to try their hand at a garden of their own.
In 2016, two acres were purchased at the northwest corner of the property. The area was covered in tall meadow grasses with a dying grove of spruce trees lining the wooded side. Over the next few years, we cleaned up the space, added a fence, The Garden Trail, a shed, raised beds, and even a gourd tunnel. Fruit trees and berry bushes were then planted, along with strawberries and asparagus.
Plans were placed on hold during the early part of 2020 due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 outbreak. Luckily, during August and September, we were able to tackle a few projects that would allow us to create the garden we were after. First, I designed a new garden layout that would maximize space and enhance its curb appeal. Then, we added water and electrical lines, followed by a driveway for easy access. Finally, the construction of a 20’x40’ greenhouse began. This structure will eventually allow us to grow vegetables year-round!
Now that the infrastructure is in, the layout is ready, and the greenhouse is up and running, we will finally start planting vegetables in-ground this year. I plan on using a version of “no dig gardening” to help keep our soil healthy and the weeds at bay. When disturbed with tools like mechanical tillers or horse-and-plow, the soil’s natural structure and the habitat it creates are devastated. Beneficial bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and other organisms thrive in an undisturbed environment. These creatures are crucial for the growth and well-being of garden crops. We will also be initiating a composting program with Tarragon which will reduce our kitchen waste and fuel our garden and its micro-inhabitants.
It has taken a lot to get to this point, and I am so grateful that it is here! We have many plans for this ever-changing space and hope you can come to see its evolution.
– Jordan M. Calame, Horticulturalist at The Inn at Honey Run