It's that time of year again. The best home gardens in Sussex and Orange counties are opening their gates this Sunday, Aug. 11.
Armed with a detailed map and garden guide, ticket holders have a jam-packed day of garden hopping to look forward to, followed by an after party featuring farm-to-table fare, unlimited beer and wine, and live music at The Mohawk House.
While there are bound to be flowers at almost every stop (see Karin Harrison's front yard spectacle of her favorite veggies and flowers living side-by-side), Dirt's event exclusively features food gardens. Veteran Kitchen Garden tour stops such as Klaas Vogel's expertly engineered, self-watering oasis are on the map alongside newcomers that are equally unique and bountiful, providing food for their families - and a surplus to share, donate and preserve.
Frank Hennion, who took home 1st place for Best Garden and the coveted "Most Hospitable" award last year, will have his garden on display again on Sunday. The fan-favorite has been gardening since the 1940s.
"We self-sustained ourselves during World War II," says Hennion, who tended a large victory garden and took care of the family cows, pigs and chickens in his childhood.
Flash-forward to 2019, his green thumb is still at it.
"Yesterday we made 17 pints of bread and butter pickles from the cukes we harvested," says Frank.
He and his wife, Marilyn, won't be caught buying jarred sauce. Much of what they eat comes straight from the yard.
"Tomorrow Marilyn will be canning tomatoes. We have almost a bushel of ripe tomatoes waiting to be canned ... I've never seen such large leaves on the garden plants. The tomato plants are over six feet tall and the squash plants have taken over the garden."
Year after year, the event continues to inspire. After seeing upwards of 10 veggie patches in a day, soaking up tips and tricks at each stop, garden peepers often end up planting plots of their own.
See how your neighbors are plotting produce aisles and harvesting honey at home this Sunday at Dirt's sixth annual Kitchen Garden Tour.
Join the after party and celebration at Mohawk House with samplings from Angry Orchard, Windy Brow, Get Juiced, Shannon’s Eyes on the Prize and Spring House.
Limited tickets remain: kitchengardentours.com or call 845-469-9000.