We are putting in a market and "pick your own" vegetable and fruit garden in a life-style block area. The paddocks we plan to put these in are at the front of our property where there is a 10m+ wide verge that people often use to go jogging, walking dogs etc. I thought as a good advertisement for the business I would put in a grazing garden for people that went past to eat based on the following Deuteronomy verse:
When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, but you must not put any in your basket. When you enter your neighbor’s grainfield, you may pluck the heads of grain with your hand, but you must not put a sickle to your neighbor’s grain.
I want to put in plants that people can pick and eat as they go past, but that the birds will not devour first.
Also want it to be something that people will not be tempted to pick or eat out the whole lot in one go (e.g. grape vine).
It could be fruit or cherry tomatoes or nice greens to munch like fennel. Is there a cherry tomato birds are less likely to eat?
I thought cape Gooseberry / ground cherry may be an idea.
If people walk their dogs there then you have to figure out a way to keep the fruit/veggies safe from lifted legs. I also would avoid larger fruits that tempt "squeezers" testing to see if it is ripe.
Some thoughts would be cherry tomatoes (as you stated), snow peas and english peas (most people would enjoy nibbling them raw). Thing is you would need a sign telling people to "hunt for them" since most probably aren't used to finding hidden veggies. Also maybe blackberries?
Location: Middle Georgia
posted 2 weeks ago
Oh and I would also include some really good smelling herbs like lavender/mint etc... that will tempt people to stop and smell the different scents. Maybe throw some echinacea plants in there too for the blooms. It isn't all about eating kwim? Anything pretty/educational/unusual will attract people's attention and promote the market. If the market doesn't sell produce from some of the herbs/flowers then you could sell seed packs if people ask about it (so they know whatever they see/like in the median is available in some form at the market).
I think signs would also be in order -- "Snow peas are now producing! See if you can find one --->" with an arrow so people know what is new. Otherwise people will visit it once or twice but start passing it by (plus at times nothing will be producing).
What climate zone and soil type are you working with? I'd like to grow figs but they're iffy to grow here, if in a sheltered spot they might be fine or they might freeze to death. But most people aren't going to pick and eat something they're not already used to eating raw. A variety of rose which has been bred for scent, lilac bushes, mint, anise might be good. Dwarf citrus if you're somewhere warm enough... people seem to be pretty brave about eating oranges. People used to look at me sideways when I picked and ate mulberries walking to/from home in college. Tomatoes have already been mentioned, cherry tomatoes in particular may appeal to passers by. Ground cherry/chinese lantern is already accepted as an ornamental.
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