"Growing Beautiful Food" lecture offered Oct. 8

By Vicky Moon For Fauquier Now

It's quite amazing how many business duties, charity events and personal tasks Lynn Wiley can accomplish successfully.

A resident of The Plains, she's a full-time associate broker with the Washington Fine Properties office in Middleburg. She stays on top of her listings, keeps up with real estate trends and merrily shows and sells properties.

She's also a board member of the Middleburg Spring Races slated for April 18, 2020.

There's more: She's on the board of the Piedmont Environmental Council and serves as chair of the development committee.

As a member of the Piedmont Garden Club, Mrs. Wiley is at work as a co-chair, with Margaret Littleton of Middleburg, as the club presents a lecture and luncheon, "Growing Beautiful Food," on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Middleburg Community Center.

Matthew Benson of Stonegate Farm in Newburgh, N.Y., is the speaker. He's a noted gardener with a stunning three-acre showpiece of flowers and organic vegetables. He's also a noted photographer and author of the book of the same name.

Mrs. Wiley and Mrs. Littleton went on a Garden Club of America Tour a year ago and "we loved Matthew's organic farm," Mrs. Wiley noted. "He lectures widely on gardening food photography, bio-intensive farming, sustainability and organics."

His lecture and book about eating locally and organically, "Growing Beautiful Food," is intended to inspire and inform. Whether gardener, farmer, or chef, many today are motivated by the flavor of homegrown, the message of self-sufficiency, and the beautiful food that's as local as the backyard.

The book and lecture will chronicle growing food and living sustainably as a transformative experience, with all the joy, folly, work and wonder of it told through words and photographs.

"Growing Beautiful Food" shows that almost anyone can take their preened, green patch of grass or garden and turn it into a vibrant, local food shed. By exploring the idea of integrating edibles into the flower garden, and transitioning aesthetic gardeners into food growers, the suburban lot becomes a hallmark of the paradigm shift towards a more local, sustainable lifestyle.

At the heart and soul of "Growing Beautiful Food" are seasonal observations on the rhythms of small farm life, from madly swarming bees and wayward chickens to harvesting miraculous floral salads or making quince preserves. These observations are integrated into a field guide for backyard food growers, with detailed growing advice for growing extraordinary crops, ranging from salad greens, fruiting vegetables, tree fruit and berries to cut flowers, bees, and chickens.

A catered box lunch is included and there will be several tables and small displays of horticultural items for sale, including Mr. Benson's book. And Mrs. Wiley also wants to give full credit to other members of the Piedmont Garden Club who are helping to put it all together.

"Beth Gibbens, who lives near Marshall at Innisfree Farm and has an expansive all native garden, is in charge of speaker hospitality," Mrs. Wiley said. "Sheila Harrell of Gordonsdale in The Plains is working on the ticket sales, Bailey Davis of The Plains will make floral table arrangements and Anne Walker, who lives in Middleburg is in charge of book sales."

All of which, just shows, if you want to get something done, just ask multitasking Lynn Wiley.

The Details

Who: Author and gardener Matthew Benson

What: "Growing Beautiful Food" a lecture and lunch sponsored by Piedmont Garden Club

When: 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 8

Where: Middleburg Community Center

How much: $55 (before October 1) send to: Piedmont Garden Club, P.O. Box 275, The Plains, Va. 20198

Contact: Margaret Littleton, 540-687-6246 or piedmontgardenclub@gmail.com

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