Though the dairy barn at Grist Mill Park was built in the 1920's by Minnesota Senator Clapp, the land is part of Union Farm owned by George Washington. The farm was part of an original land grant in 1657 and passed through a few members of the Washington family until George Washington acquired it 1784. The farm passed through multiple owners after George Washington's relatives sold it and eventually 78 undeveloped acres were acquired by the Faifax County Park Authority in 1978.
Along with sports field and a dog park, the Park Authority set aside 34 community garden plots. The plots are about 25 x 30 feet and are always in demand. I'm lucky to have friends with a plot and they share a portion with me. The garden plot owners are a communal group with long term gardeners willing share tips and advice with the newbies. When I'm working in the garden I'm reminded of the history of the land and how gardens in the 1700 & 1800's would have flourished.
We are beginning to see the fruits of our labor with peppers, tomatoes, squash and beans growing well. Now if we can just keep the resident gopher at bay we may have fresh veggies on our table before the summer is over.