Sunday, March 5, 2017


The Edibles Garden includes raised vegetable beds, fruit trees, berry bushes, an herb garden, and a composting demonstration area.   There are 12 raised beds, a square foot garden demonstration bed, an accessibility raised bed, two trellis beds, and an herb spiral.  In addition, there are 3 apple trees, a black current bush, and a goumi bush.  There is also a 3-bin compost system in the garden as well as a cold frame for hardening off seedlings in the spring.  

A variety of annual vegetables are planted in the beds each year, with the aim of show-casing good-tasting varieties that grow well in Dane County and the surrounding area. This year the team will plant two tasting beds filled with a variety of vegetables that visitors can pick and taste straight out of the garden.  The remaining beds will be planted in a more traditional manner and contain new and trial varieties. Team members will maintain these research beds and harvest the produce directly.  Some produce will be placed in a tasting basket for visitors to take and enjoy.  Excess produce will be donated to local food pantries.
Major plans for the Edibles Garden include a (demonstration) drip irrigation system with information signage and a hoop house to extend the growing season.  In March 2019 we became an official Edible All-America Selections® Display Garden.  We will be receiving our first shipment of seeds in March, along with signs and plant labels.  The Teaching Garden has been added to the AAS website under Display Gardens. 
Valerie Kozel and Colleen Levitsky are co-leaders of the Edibles Garden team. Valerie graduated from the Dane County Master Gardener Volunteer program in 2016, and has been growing fruits and vegetables—both in the U.S. and outside—for more than 30 years.  She moved to Madison after retiring from the World Bank in 2014 and is particularly interested in organic gardening methods and urban homesteading.  She enjoys growing anything that can be eaten, and is a member of the Madison Seed-to-Kitchen Collaborative and Slow Food Madison.  Colleen Levitsky graduated from the Dane County Master Gardener Volunteer program in 2017 and was a member of the Edibles Garden Team. She has a research background where she managed a team that grew and organized tens of thousands of Arabidopsis plants and studied stress responses.  Currently, she enjoys growing heirloom vegetables and saving seeds and works with the Mount Horeb Public Library’s seed library to help make heirloom vegetable seeds freely available to everyone.
Colleen will be working in the garden on Mondays.  On Saturday Workdays, Ulrike Dieterle will be providing direction from April through June and Cathy Spahn will provide direction in from July to September.

To join the Edibles Garden team, contact Karen Allenstein.  2019 continuing team members include:

Dayna Dalton 4th year
UlrikeDieterle4th year
Jamie Murray-Branch 4th year
CathySpan2nd year
Andy van Duym 2nd year

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