Living History Farms: 1850 Kitchen Garden

Once there was a crop—something that was a staple for humans and animals, as was true of corn—creating a kitchen garden would be the next important priority. Corn and game would sustain the family for the first year or two, but a garden would supply lettuce, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, radishes, and herbs.


Here, in the garden, Sarah, one of the interpreters, weeds one of the garden beds. When asked about the food, she shared that the family ate a lot of cornmeal and corn bread. Once potatoes were growing well in the garden, pork and potatoes became a common meal. Sarah noted that corn had a double benefit—once the kernels were removed, the cobs could be used for scrubbing pans.

Chickens were raised, but they were saved for eggs. Sarah explained that the Dominick chickens they raise (a heritage breed) can be house broken. They are good layers, but the advantage to allowing them indoors is that they were good at keeping the cabin free of bugs.


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Filed under Agriculture, Corn, Culture, Farming, Food, History, Midwest, Midwest Maize, Travel

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