Backyard Abundance is implementing edible landscaping in Chauncey Swan Park in cooperation with Iowa City Parks and Recreation and the Iowa City Farmers Market. Throughout the summer educational sessions will be held Wednesday and Saturday during Farmers Market times to show residents how to design and grow low-maintenance, food-bearing plants in their own yards.
The first session is Saturday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Chauncey Swan Park, 410 E. Washington St. in Iowa City. Melissa Sharapova, a Backyard Abundance ecological designer, will demonstrate how to easily establish a new garden bed.
Two beds in the park will be filled with edible plants. One large bed at the northeast corner of the park is very shady. “Many people do not think food can be grown in shady landscapes,” said Melissa Sharapova.
“Currants, fern fiddleheads, Solomon’s seal shoots, sorrel, and serviceberries all thrive in full or part-shade and can yield a substantial amount of food.”
Tammy Neumann, coordinator of the Farmers Market, requested ideas from local organizations to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of the market. “We wanted to build on past joint ventures that have made our Farmers Market very special and successful,” said Ms. Neumann. “When Backyard Abundance brought up the idea of edible landscaping in the park, it seemed like a great attraction and a natural fit for the market.”
Educational sessions will cover planting edible shrubs and herbs, designing self-supporting plant communities, growing mushrooms, establishing natives in shady areas, making compost tea, building seating from logs, and sowing fall greens.
View the complete educational schedule and the bed design: visit our recent projects.