Part of the Edible Estates project by Fritz Haeg, this garden is described as “a demonstration garden, part experimental laboratory and part educational display”. Haeg and his partners use edible native plants to remind visitors of a geographic history which suggests possibilities for the future.
The project uses native edible plants of beans, corn, and squash—also known as the “three sisters”—that the Lenape people would have eaten for millennia in that very location. The Lenape garden is surrounded by detailed signage that tells the story of each plant, the food it produces, how the Lenape used it in their diet. It is not intended to feed the current local residents, but rather to provide visible evidence of both the general fact that our food comes out of the dirt and specific examples of the sources of food for the previous residents of the island.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This urban garden is unique in its intention to represent a geographic and horticultural history of a local region. It can have multiple impacts on a visitor, including uncovering histories and modes of land use and suggesting new ways of thinking about the land in the future.