Dallas Arboretum Still Growing, Next Effort Good Enough To Eat

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Even in August, the Dallas Arboretum is still green and still growing. The latest effort: a $12 million dollar edible garden that aims to feed the body, as well as the soul.

“Eggplant, peppers, things like that,” says Dave Forehand, Vice President of Gardens, “as we cool off, lettuce, kale, and cabbage. Edible things all around, and an orchard on one side of the pavilion.”

Yes, in a place that’s known worldwide for its beautiful flowers, something absolutely delicious is sprouting at the Dallas Arboretum. It’s called ‘The Tasteful Place’…a three and a half acre edible garden filled with vegetables, herbs and even an orchard designed to thrive in the Texas heat. And unlike the flowers, visitors can see, touch and taste the home grown goodness. The Tasteful Place will offer daily tastings in the garden.

“Something will be harvested every day and then turned into some kind of recipe that can be tested,” says Forehand. “We we will use all of the vegetables and produce that comes from the garden, in our restaurants here, in the programming and activities that we’re doing daily here, and if we have any extra they will be donated to food banks. Nothing from the garden will be wasted.”

The edible garden, scheduled to open in October, is an expansion of a concept introduced in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden in the Arboretum. And it’s already a big hit with visitors.

“We love it,” says Tracy Barefield, visiting with her 6-year-old son, Grayson. “Now that he’s older, he’s wanting to learn more about the different foods, what they look like when they grow and what they do for us.”

As for Grayson, the most fun was the super hero connection to the vegetables he eats. And the youngster is learning fast.

“They come from the ground!” he quickly responded when asked about the source of those veggies, before also admitting that that came as a surprise.

But, an even bigger one, is set to debut soon. And it will be a beauty. The Tasteful Place will overlook White Rock Lake with stunning views of the downtown Dallas skyline just beyond. An indoor meeting space with glass walled views of the potager (kitchen garden) gardens and man-made lagoon will host big name chefs, cooking classes and private events.

“To have this as a public venue where we can showcase how to do this for the folks of North Texas is so exciting,” says Forehand, “I can’t wait to open and have people come experience it.”

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