Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is serving up scrumptious garden fun for the fifth year in a row with the Edible Garden.
The Edible Garden will feature an array of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. All plants are grown from seed and every plant in the garden has at least one edible part. It is an exhibit for visitors of all ages, designed to teach about planting and preparing foods that can be grown at home. The Como gardening staff hopes the exhibit will offer visitors an appreciation for how easy it is to grow a large variety of plants in Minnesota.
The exhibit will open Friday, June 12 and run through the summer. Trained staff and volunteers will be onsite from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. to answer guests’ questions. At 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, the Conservatory gardening staff will give gardener talks about growing techniques, ways to harvest and prepare food from your garden, natural pest control, and creative edible landscape design. The garden display covers more than 8,000 square feet and is south of the Visitor Center.
In 2014 the Edible Garden staff harvested 119.82 lbs. of produce for the Saint Paul Recreation Centers’ various cooking classes and summer programs, 666.54 lbs. of produce that was fed to Como Zoo animals, and 657.911 lbs of produce that was donated to Keystone Community Services, a community-based human service organization in St. Paul offering a variety of human service programs for all ages. The goal for 2015 is to exceed last year’s harvest, which totaled 1444 lbs. Some of the more interesting plants grown in the garden this year include Jerusalem artichoke, tigger melon, vegetable spaghetti squash, Polar bear pumpkins and a wide variety of peppers.
The Edible Garden is funded by the Legacy Amendment.