Gardens of the 19th Century: Our trip to Sturbridge

I had the kids take a day off from Vacation Bible School yesterday.  They were pooped.  Between VBS last week and this week, they needed some freedom and relaxation. One place I have been wanting to go to all summer and that we try to go to at least once a year is Old Sturbridge Village.  This village is in Southern Massachusetts and consists of a collection of historic homes which were saved and transported to created  realistic 1830’s village, complete with outlying farms, tinsmith, church, and sawmill.

I find this place extremely inspiring.  To see how hard folks had to work just to make one meal is always a reality check for me when I feel like complaining about something.  Specifically I wanted to go to see how their gardens were doing.  I am always interested in heirloom vegetables and old gardening skills.

This is a shot of the “kitchen garden” which sets next to the Freeman Farm located on the outskirts of the village. This is bigger than my entire garden! But, the kitchen garden was vital to the livelihood of these people. The kitchen garden would be tended and grown almost the entire year long, providing staples like potatos, beens and dried herbs so that even in the darkest days of Winter, they would have something to fill their stomachs with. Specifically, you are looking at their bean bed – which will grow straight up these poles.

The Freeman Farm also boasts about twenty chickens. They are the true “free range.” They were walking around, not afraid of us, pecking at the ground and happy.

I am pretty sure this is Dill.

Then I went over to the Roger Walker Herb Garden. This is my dream herb space! Tiers and tiers of rocked in varieties, some familiar some not.
I took photos of thing I would like to plant next year.

Dark Opal Basil…doesn’t that purple color make it look so tasty?

Caraway! Has so many uses.

Yarrow, also has many uses and it comes in several different colors.

Tansy. This is a beautiful plant with a few uses, but needs to be planted away from some things as it sucks the life out of the soil.

And lastly, I am gonna plant this little guy in my garden too!

One thought on “Gardens of the 19th Century: Our trip to Sturbridge

  1. The Hancock Shaker Village is right near my home and they have an amazing medicinal herb garden – complete with descriptions as to what each herb is and treats!


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