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Transforming the Cape’s landscape one garden at a time

Barnstable entrepreneur helps customers grow produce in their own backyards

Home Spring 2016

Photo courtesy of Edible Landscapes

The farm-to-table concept of eating fruits and vegetables within hours after they are harvested is nothing new, but the trend has been gaining momentum in recent years. As more and more people become aware of the preservatives and other things that are included in many of the packaged foods sold in grocery stores, as well as the pesticides used in the growing of the fruits and vegetables that fill produce departments, the demand for fresh, seasonal food, grown locally and without the aid of chemicals, will continue to rise.

While many Cape and Islanders visit local farm stands and farmers markets to purchase freshly picked fruits and vegetables, Dave Scandurra suggests that much of this produce can be grown—and picked—even closer to home.

In  2013, Scandurra founded Edible Landscapes, a company whose mission is to increase the number of local homeowners who are tilling their own soil and planting seeds. For those who do not know how to start a vegetable or herb garden, or lack the time, Edible Landscapes may be a solution. The company offers a variety of services, from establishing gardens in customers’ yards, to tending and weeding the gardens, to harvesting the produce for the customers. They also offer a mentoring program where Scandurra teaches customers how to grow their own plants. “All of our work is customized,” Scandurra says. “We can establish a garden that is as small or as large as the homeowner wants it to be.”

When meeting with clients, Scandurra asks a lengthy list of questions to gain a firm understanding of how much work they themselves want to do in the garden, as well as the kinds of foods they like. “It makes no sense to plant food they don’t eat,” he says. “I want them to enjoy the foods they are harvesting from their garden.”

Some clients prefer Scandurra and his staff handle the weeding and harvesting, while others want to take over this work themselves once the plants become established. Jason and Ali O’Toole, the owners of Pizza Barbone in Hyannis, fall into the former category; they hired Scandurra to tend the garden they had already established on the rooftop above their Main Street restaurant.

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