The Uplands Center’s garden is a rich environment of nourishment, growth and beauty. We employ organic and sustainable practices through permaculture, a growing method that aims to mirror natural processes to create a healthy garden ecosystem. The goal is a self-sufficient garden that eliminates off-site input by optimizing soil health.
This year The Uplands expanded the garden with more in-ground raised beds. New plants such as sweet potatoes, corn, artichokes, asparagus, and strawberries have been added onto more traditional garden fare. We have also added fruit trees such as pear, apple, and peach. These trees are planted in a “guild” style, meaning they are surrounded by other beneficial plants or herbs that help reduce pest pressure and disease while maximizing use of space.
Finally, we’ve added a “Three Sisters” section to the garden as an example of how permaculture works. The three sisters are corn, beans, and squash, and they work together to maximize the health of all. The corn provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for metal poles. The beans provide the soil with nitrogen, an important (and often lacking) nutrient for plant growth. The large squash leaves protects the soil as “living mulch” by blocking harmful sun rays from reaching the soil, reducing water evaporation, and reducing weeds from establishing.
Produce and herbs from the garden are used by our staff to create delicious garden-to-table meals, but we often have leftovers! We donate excess produce to the Walton Food Bank, and throughout the summer and fall locals may find a “Free Produce” cooler outside of the staff house. Come join in the bounty!