Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Historic Vegetable Gardens (Part 2)

Other historical gardening books for further reading and research:

The Family Kitchen Gardener by Robert Buist, published in 1861.

The Kitchen Gardener's Instructor by Thomas Bridgeman, published in 1847. Here's an excerpt on my favorite big berry:
A celebrated writer observes, that " the common Tomato
made into a gravy, by stewing over the fire, and used as a
sauce for meat, has been known to quicken the action of the
liver and of the bowels, better than any medicine he ever
made use of." He states farther, that " when afflicted with
inaction of the bowels, headache, a bad taste of the mouth,
straitness of the chest, and a dull and painful heaviness of
the region of the liver, the whole of these symptoms are
removed by Tomato sauce, and the mind, in the course of
some few hours, is put in perfect tune."
And that was long before we heard anything about lycopene!
A New York Times article from 1993 discusses historical gardening and highlights Pennsylvania's Landis Valley Museum and its Heirloom Seed Project.
If you are interested in the vegetables and flowers grown by the Germans who settled in Pennyslvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, Pa., offers seeds through its Heirloom Seed Project.

"One of our most interesting seeds is the Mosteller wild goose bean," said Nancy Pippart, the coordinator. "This bean has stayed with the Mosteller family for 125 years, and it was first found in the craw of a Canada goose by a woman who went to dress the bird."

The Wild Goose Bean is one of the beans we planted at John Brown's House, and saved for next year. They were donated by Plasterer's Florist and Greenhouses here in Chambersburg from their Landis Valley Heirloom Seed Project section. A PDF with seed descriptions is here.

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