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Teaching Garden

The teaching garden is comprised of permanent plots demonstrating various agricultural practices. The teaching garden is an ideal site for K-12 field trips, college labs and community educational events.

Student Garden layout.

1. Shade Garden

2. Garden bed

3. Perennial Herb Garden
Also known as a Potager Garden, the herb garden is a working replica of a traditional kitchen garden (or jardin potager in French) that serves as a year round ornamental garden using perennial plants and shrubs in addition to utilitarian annual vegetable and herb plantings.

4.Cover Crops
Cover cropping is a technique used first and foremost to prevent erosion and increase soil fertility. Cover cropping is the practice of sowing a crop in a bed that would otherwise lie fallow, particularly in a conventionally managed field. The crop is generally not harvested, but rather chopped and left on top of the bed to act as a green mulch. Cover cropping has many benefits, including weed suppression, runoff mitigation, prevention of surface crusting, and nitrogen fixation.

5. Compass Garden
The compass garden is a raised bed technique with a North to South orientation and concentric circles spreading away from the center of the “compass.” Compass gardens create the illusion of “floating beds” and have been used specifically for floral gardens consisting of roses, peonies, and other popular flowering plants due to the aesthetically pleasing layout.

6. Lasagna Beds A lasagna bed is a garden bed demonstration in which items such as cardboard, leaves, compost, and other organic mulch material are layered to build up garden soil and prevent difficult tilling and digging otherwise required to grow plants.

7. Hugelkultur Mound Hugelkultur is an agricultural practice used around the world. This permaculture technique utilizes the idea of a raised bed and begins with layering wood and soil on top of each other in a mound. As years pass and the wood shrinks and decomposes, it makes tiny air pockets becoming self-tilling. Hugelkultur is an advantageous gardening method because it eliminates the need for irrigation or fertilization and can be practiced in a wide range of environments.

8. Pollinator Garden
The pollinator garden was designed to use native flowering plants to attract native pollinators that will then venture into the rest of the garden and pollinate other crops.

9. Butterfly Garden
The butterfly garden hosts a plethora of native and non-native plant species specifically to serve as host plants for butterfly larvae as well as nectar plants for adult butterflies.

10. Permaculture Guild Plot
The work of an undergraduate research project by Gloria Wilson, the Permaculture Guild plot highlights special groupings of plants, animals, insects, and other natural components that work to ensure mutual survival through their individual functions to support all the organisms.

11. Row Garden Plot
This is a traditional research design plot examining the effects of different inputs on soil health and crop growth through a randomized block design test in multiple rows. It includes compost, cover crop, and compost/mulch treatments as well as fallow, or no treatment, rows.

Border of #11. Living Fence
Our living fence, traditionally referred to as a hedgerow, is currently going through a transitional period. The framework for the fencing was sourced from logs found on the property, and the elements of the fence are beginning to come together. Though our plantings are currently young, eventually the framing will provide support to a wide variety of plants. The fence will also provide shelter for beneficial birds and insects while producing additional crops for the garden. Currently the fence is planted with raspberry and blackberry bushes, passion vine, and muscadine grapes. We are also in the process of establishing fig trees that will serve as a demonstration of espalier techniques. Espalier is a French method of tree pruning, or more accurately training, that encourages trees to grow in specific patterns.