by Susan Harris
I finally got to visit the locally famous veg garden at Government House, the official residence of Maryland’s First Couple, Martin and Katie O’Malley. It’s a wonderful partnership of Anne Arundel’s Master Gardeners, our Extension Service’s Grow It Eat It program, and the First Lady herself. It’s used for all sorts of educational events, like teaching kids to grow food, and monthly talks for the public (I heard a terrific talk on soil conditioning by Lew Shell, who knows his stuff). The garden is part of the regular house tour of the residence, and news of the garden and Master Gardener talks there are announced by the governor. That’s what folks do when they’re serious about promoting and teaching the growing of food, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
Approaching the vegetable garden you come across this gorgeous but easy-on-the resources flower garden. It’s all in the middle of State Circle smack in the middle of old Annapolis.
Lisa Winters, coordinator of the Grow It Eat It program for Anne Arundel County, is in charge of this garden and told me she’s been pleasantly surprised by the output, despite its not-sunny-enough location. (Coincidentally, Lisa also works at Homestead.)
Below, Lew Shell, Horticultural Consultant for Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center and a recent lecturer at the governor’s mansion.
They’re doing beekeeping, too! And don’t worry – the hive is carefully located away from the public. On the right you see evidence that even sun-loving eggplants are producing in less than optimal conditions. Tomatoes, too!
To follow this garden, check out the wonderful Grow It Eat It Blog, where Master Gardeners from all over the state report on veg-growing in their own counties.
Coming soon on this blog: more stories about the governor’s mansion garden (photos from the children’s camp this past summer, and all the dirt about soil conditioning from Extension guru Lew Shell).