Did you know that gardening is America’s most popular pastime, with more disposable income spent on gardening than any other hobby?
At Bernheim, we are proud to have one of the most unique gardens in the world. The Edible Garden is a four-acre site just across from Bernheim’s Visitors Center that serves as a gateway to connect people with nature.
What makes the Edible Garden so special? Here are some facts:
- The Edible Garden is a living classroom designed to help people understand the research mission of Bernheim.
- The Edible Garden was designed to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. The paths and several of the beds are wheelchair accessible
- The Edible Garden helps people connect gardening and ecology.
- The Edible Garden integrates all of Bernheim’s expertise in one location – Horticulture, Natural Areas, Research, Art, Education and Experience.
- Bernheim strives to be a leader in ecological stewardship. As an applicant to the Living Building Challenge (LBC), the Edible Garden meets the most rigorous green design standards in the world, following the principles of Regenerative Design.
- There are no other LBC certified projects in the state and very few in the world.
- While sustainable building aims to leave no impact on the environment, Regenerative Design is building with the intent to help improve the natural environment and make it healthier. That’s why:
- The Garden’s Living Sculpture, RhizoLink, is a Morse Code message made of straw basket fills inoculated with helpful fungus to foster better plant growth.
- The 16 Solar Panels atop the Red Education Shed will generate 5,000 kwh per year, enough to cover the amount the garden will use in a year – Net Zero Energy.
- The Edible Garden uses only water from nature. The water from surrounding buildings and the garden itself is collected in cistern and ponds.
- The Edible Garden practices companion planting, meaning we grow plants in communities where plants help each other.
- To meet the LBC Criteria, the Edible Garden has to offset its entire carbon footprint. That means every amount of energy used to build and operate must be accounted for.
- To reduce the carbon footprint, Bernheim sourced all of its materials as locally as possible. That’s why:
- The stones that make up the plant beds were cleared from a local pasture.
- The steel in the Grand Arbor had to be purchased from less than 300 miles away.
- The solar panels selected were manufactured in America
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