Last week on our visit to the farmer's market, my daughter insisted that we visit the Cleveland County Demonstration Garden. It is on the West side of the parking lot from the farmer's market. The last time we visited they were sadly recovering from the crazy hail storm that damaged so much of Norman in the Spring. I couldn't believe how lush and beautiful it is now! Clearly, they are better gardeners than me, but then again, most people are. My daughter ran straight for the "tepee," a cone of string beans with a tiny bench inside. She even allowed her brother to sit with her this time.
This garden is a great place to take children and teach them about agriculture, giving back, and sustainable living. There is always a gardener there who is happy to show you around, provide information, and even a fresh snack or two. All of the food grown here is donated to Food and Shelter for Friends and the gardeners are all volunteers. They have a "worm hotel" which my kids find fascinating. Apparently worm poop is some prized stuff for gardeners! On this tour, we sampled purple okra, lemon basil, fresh peanuts (who knew they grew in the ground?) and of course, water straight from a garden hose. Ah, the childhood bliss of it all!
For now, the demonstration garden is only open on Saturdays (8-12) but after the County Fair it will start being open on Wednesdays again. Check it out, it truly is a "hidden gem."
PS-It goes without saying that you should check out the farmer's market while you are there. Check out this carrot that my daughter picked out:
This bad boy weighed in at approximately 1.5 lbs! And Mr. Farmer threw in a couple of little guys too just in case "that big one ain't sweet enough for you." There is something about my rosy-cheeked girl, she loves those farmers and they love her!