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Texas-size edible garden will take root in Dallas next year
Jill Odom | September 12, 2016
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An artist’s rendering of what A Tasteful Place will look like upon completion.
Photo: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Everything is bigger in Texas so it comes as no surprise that when the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden broke ground on its new edible garden today, the institution said the exhibit eventually will spread over 2 acres.

While the garden definitely isn’t the size of your normal backyard food plot, the principles are the same. The Dallas Arboretum plans to use this addition to demonstrate how to grow food sustainably and then offer its patrons lessons on cooking with the produce.

A Tasteful Place is set to open in fall 2017 and was designed by SWA Group and Buchanan Architecture. It will feature an orchard, vineyard and raised beds of flowers, vegetables and herbs. The whole space overlooks White Rock Lake.

The Garden Pavilion includes a teaching kitchen where cooking demonstrations and tastings will be held. During special events, local chefs will use the kitchen to prepare garden-to-table meals. The Arboretum partnered with gardening expert and author P. Allen Smith to create a calendar full of events to take advantage of the new garden.

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There will always be some food growing in this garden thanks to the Dallas weather.
Photo: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Educational sessions focused on ethnic foods, healthy preparation of vegetables, gourmet recipes you can make from your garden, and mother/child cooking classes are just some of the opportunities that will be available once A Tasteful Place opens.

“In North Texas, you can harvest food from your garden 12 months out of the year,” the arboretum’s president and CEO, Mary Brinegar, told the . “This fruit, herb and vegetable garden will be one of the most beautiful and active in the country.”

With growing concerns about food supplies and a continual interest in sustainable living, A Tasteful Place is a timely addition to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Visitors will have the chance to learn how to plant, harvest and cook the edibles they find in the garden.

Excess food harvested that is not used in cooking classes will be given to the in-house caterer to create salads and so forth.

“We’re going to be weaving this beautiful tapestry of useful and edible plants, so that they’re used in that ornamental light,” Smith told . “This, in a way, is going to be its own ornamented farm, where design is layered over functionality, and functionality is layered over the aesthetic of design …

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Photo: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

“I think the greatest compliment will be for people to come through and go, ‘I had no idea that edibles could be so beautiful,’ and (realize) that everything in this garden has a purpose.”

A Tasteful Place will cost $8 million to construct and will feature a number of special areas, including the Wreath Pools, Lagoon Outlook Covered Patio, the Picnic Lawn Overlook, Central Stairway and Promenade, the Strolling Trail, the Orchard, the Orchard Patio, the Tasting Plaza, the Veranda at the Garden Pavilion, the Garden Gate event entrance and the Shaded Patio.

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