World’s Skinniest Farm Planted in Brookline, MA


“The 200 Foot Garden is a community garden/art project, to create a commuter garden in Brookline, Massachusetts. Our hope is to add some beauty and delight to a very everyday stretch of sidewalk and chain-link fence. It’s also our hope to remind people that healthy vegetables can be grown in all sorts of environments, not just farms or big yards or community garden plots. The 200 Foot Garden is also a way to bring together neighbors in a project designed to share good things with the people around us.

The project is headed by Patrick and Tracy Gabridge. In our everyday lives, Patrick is a novelist and playwright, and Tracy is a librarian.”

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  1. i think projects like this (and others i have seen here) are so very clever. i may attempt this along the fence line where i work. thank you for sharing.

  2. cool… but scarlet runner beans? not worth it foodwise – scarlet runners are an ornamental flower as far as I am concerned. They’ll learn by experience I hope.

  3. Thanks for posting the story. We’ve had a great time with the project and it’s only just beginning. Your book was very much an inspiration for us to start looking around for unusual garden spots.

  4. Hmm. Scarlet runner beans are tried-and-true, and perfectly edible. Not sure what the issue is unless it depends on your climate/zone?

  5. Mrs. Homegrown chiming here. We eat our scarlet runners. Perhaps they are not the penultimate eating bean, but they’re pretty good when eaten young, very reliable and very attractive.

    PLUS you can eat the flowers! We didn’t know this until this summer. We’ve got scarlet runners out on the street in front of our house, and a man from Guatemala stopped by to talk to us about them. They made him homesick–apparently they grow thick around his family’s house. He’s the one who told us to eat the flowers. What a revelation!

    The bright red blooms have a delicious snap pea sort of flavor. How had we not known that before? They’re a knock-out addition to a salad.

  6. That’s very exciting to hear about the edible blossoms on Scarlet Runners. This is actually my first time growing pole beans, but they were essential for this vertical project. Three different varieties will allow us to compare and contract and figure out what we like. I chose Scarlet Runner also for the color–we’re trying for a certain level of visual impact with this garden, too.

  7. hmmm… maybe I spoke too soon on scarlet runner beans… and I didn’t know that the flowers were edible. Thanks to folks for weighing in on this. When I grew them one year (in Los Angeles) I found the beans pretty bland – compared to the blue beans… I probably picked them too late.

    Always more to learn!

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