West Milford garden wins big


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  • The Mohawk House Restaurant & Lounge in Sparta Township, New Jersey hosted Dirt Magazine's 2017 Kitchen Garden Tour awards event on Sunday, August 13, 2017. Guests and participating gardeners from the region gathered in the outdoor pavilion to sample food and drink while waiting for the results of the day’s voting for the best garden. Tours of the gardens were made earlier in the day. Dirt Magazine editor Becca Tucker and Straus News president Jeanne Straus shared emcee duties.




  • Guests voting for their favorite garden. The Mohawk House Restaurant & Lounge in Sparta Township, New Jersey hosted Dirt Magazine's 2017 Kitchen Garden Tour awards event on Sunday, August 13, 2017. Guests and participating gardeners from the region gathered in the outdoor pavilion to sample food and drink while waiting for the results of the day’s voting for the best garden. Tours of the gardens were made earlier in the day. Dirt Magazine editor Becca Tucker and Straus News president Jeanne Straus shared emcee duties.




  • Group shot of garden tour winners. The Mohawk House Restaurant & Lounge in Sparta Township, New Jersey hosted Dirt Magazine's 2017 Kitchen Garden Tour awards event on Sunday, August 13, 2017. Guests and participating gardeners from the region gathered in the outdoor pavilion to sample food and drink while waiting for the results of the day’s voting for the best garden. Tours of the gardens were made earlier in the day. Dirt Magazine editor Becca Tucker and Straus News president Jeanne Straus shared emcee duties.




Over 100 garden peepers hit the road on Sunday, Aug. 13, for Dirt’s 4th annual Kitchen Garden Tour. By day, they hopped from garden to garden, learning tips and tricks from local backyard food growers throughout Orange, Sussex and Passaic Counties. When the evening rolled around, gardeners and tour-goers met up at Mohawk House for a celebration complete with live music, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres from 5 Spoke Creamery, Get Juiced, Naked Flock, Angry Orchard, Windy Brow Farms, and Mohawk House.

Upon arrival, ticketholders voted for their favorite gardens and left hand written comments about their favorite veggie patches.

West Milford Organic Community Garden cinched 2nd place in the “Best Community Garden” category. This 40-plot garden is celebrating its 11th season at an 1809 grist mill, making the garden something of a historic institution in its own right. Garden Director Russ Bangs accepted the award.

“I and several of our community gardeners served as greeters at our two gardens. We enjoyed meeting the tour participants and were happy to hear the nice things they had to say,” said Bangs. “We at the West Milford Organic Community Garden thank Dirt magazine for organizing the tour and for including us on the itinerary. We look forward to doing it again next year!”

The win was met with cheers from the audience.

Other winners include:

4th Place, Best Overall: Karen and John Bower, Tuxedo N.Y.

3rd Place, Best Overall: Frank Hennion, Franklin

2nd Place, Best Overall: Paula and Jerome Spector, Chester N.Y.

1st Place, Best Overall: Dick and Sally Huey, Warwick N.Y.

Best Community Garden: Warwick Community Garden

Most Hospitable: Michael and Erin Andersen, Warwick NY

Gardeners and ticketholders alike enjoyed a jam-packed day. “This was my second year with the tour and I so appreciate what you do,” Marion Loila told Dirt magazine. “I have great takeaways from each stop.”

Thank you to the sponsors that made the 2017 Kitchen Garden Tour possible: Dirt magazine, Mohawk House, Warwick Tomatoes, The Green Onion, Amy’s, and Garden State Koi.





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