Welcome to The Heirloom Gardner

Discussion of historic gardening techniques and experiences (and/or modern compromises) and colonial farming.

Moderators: Wes, weaser

Welcome to The Heirloom Gardner

Postby Jon » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:03 am

The Colonial Farmer & Heirloom Gardener

The focus of The Colonial Farmer & Heirloom Gardener is to be historic (1740-1840, North America) farming & gardening. This may be colonial, native and/or frontier.

That includes heirloom plants, animal husbandry, historic farm & gardening techniques, experiences with your attempts at being period correct. Although we prefer it be historic focused, we understand we live in a world of compromises and as long as you are trying to raise 18th century crops or striving for an 18th century approach to farming or gardening, you should be OK.

∞ My page for my colonial music performances, dates, song samples:
http://www.reverbnation.com/JonathanHagee (also on Facebook)
∞ My pioneer Conway family - http://frontierfolk.org/conway-j.htm
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Postby Wes » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:37 am

WOW!! THat was quick Jon!! I even kinda have my name in "The Official" zone!! I am in tall cotton now...so to speak..lol

Just my luck, its raining soup and I am standing on the corner with a fork....
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Postby Connie » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:54 am

Thank you Jon!
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Postby Teresa Muterspaw » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:10 pm

Thanks Jon!!

You'll walk unscathed thru musket fire. No ploughman's blade will cut thee down. No cutler's horn will mark thy face....and you will be my ain true love.
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Beginning 1700s era gardening - where to start?

Postby Abbiegrey » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:24 pm

Hi, all. I am brand new to the board. I started watching Youtube videos by Jamestown & Son, and that has renewed my interest in living history.
It's nearly spring -- we are in a new house and are getting ready this year to start some gardening. I had been thinking to do just basics: potatoes, zuchinni, and kale. After watching the videos, though, I am thinking it might be fun to start adding in era-appropriate herbs and vegetables.
What sorts of things might have been available around the mid-1700s, which is the time I decided to settle upon for my starting persona?
Would the potatoes, kale, and zuchinni been average, uncommon, or not at all available for this time period?

And, I hope there is some chat still live in here. I see that the other posts are from several years ago.
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Re: Welcome to The Heirloom Gardner

Postby Hummingbird-in-the-Garden » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:43 am

Not many folks come to this particular thread anymore. Most activity happens as posted message threads. But I welcome you to the gardening corner! It's good to have more people to talk with about growing things. ^_^ It's been too quiet on a lot of the message boards here at Frontier Folk lately. Guess so many have gone to Facebook. I, myself, like this format much better for sharing and trading information, though I wish there was a better way to share photographic information.

To answer your question: I've spent several years researching what the people of the French & Indian War era were growing for food and herbs, both French, English, and Native. Are you French or English? Or even Dutch or German? This will determine what was being grown in the garden. Zucchini, I'm thinking, was not so common on this side of the pond, but was more a development in Italy and Spain from squashes found in Central and South America. Potatoes were grown, but not in huge quantities like they were in the latter part of the 18th Century and early 19th Century. Kale, yes, but especially cabbages, beets, and borecoles such as cauliflower and broccoli. Collards (non-heading cabbages) were also important, especially in the southern colonies of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Louisiane. Pole and bush beans. Summer squashes like crookneck and pattypan. Pumpkins and winter squashes. Peas, both shelling, snow, and snap. Cowpeas, also, in the Atlantic southern colonies. Lettuces. Celery. Radishes, both short-season and long. Onions. Carrots in various colors. Garlic. Cucumbers. Peaches, pears, apples, plums, quince, strawberries, gooseberries, etc. Corn, to a certain extent, mainly for animal fodder early on. Wheat, oats, rye, and buckwheat where they could be grown. I can talk about specific varieties later.

An excellent book to have as a source of information is "The Vegetable Garden" by Vilmorin-Andrieux. It was published in English in 1885, and has had many reprints over the years. It's a go-to book for organic gardening, as that was the agricultural practice back then. Inexpensive copies can be found on Amazon sometimes. But there are many good books out there about colonial gardening. Colonial Williamsburg would be a good source. Old Salem, in Winston-Salem, NC, also. Someday, I really want to go there!

Hope this gives you a good beginning. Welcome to the Garden!

Monsanto and its associated corporations are evil. Buy organic and local, or grow it yourself from safe seed sources and breeders if at all possible. Support your local small farmer.
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Re: Welcome to The Heirloom Gardner

Postby Ron Clark » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:27 am

Hi Hummingbird,

I remain here. I have 15 years of experience commercially running my wife and my organic farm in Florida. In the spring we made it a practice to grow as many heirloom vegetable that we could for our region. I found many online sites that sold heirloom seeds including Native American. I too am a student of the F&I period, it's people, environment, cultures, and agriculture practices particularly in the PA region. I would enjoy sharing and learning colonial America's agricultural culture.

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