Green thumbs throughout Orange and Sussex counties have been hard at work this summer, and they’re not just growing flowers: they’re plotting produce aisles in their own backyards. Schools, neighbors, and community gardens are growing everything from zucchini and tomatoes to garlic, herbs, pumpkins and raspberries. Some are even harvesting their own honey.

For the fourth consecutive year, Dirt is shining a light on these local backyard food growers with its Kitchen Garden Tour. Equipped with their map of local kitchen gardens, ticketholders spend the day going from veggie patch, to orchard, to garden, learning new tips along the way.

“This was my third year showing my garden,” said Jen Overeem after last year’s tour. “I have done this for each year because of the people: from the people who run it to the wonderful people who have visited my garden. We all share ideas, experiences and results. It's a wonderful way to show gardens from small to big, to get ideas for next year’s crop or learn how to plan a garden.”

After a day of garden peeping, everyone meets at Mohawk House the restaurant to vote for their favorite plots and enjoy unlimited hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and live music. Winners are announced, and prizes are awarded that evening.

Gardeners of all experience levels and backgrounds participate every year. Enter yours before the Aug. 1 deadline, or purchase tickets by visiting