A Settler's Garden
Gardens were very important to the early settlers. Soon after settling in an area, they cleared land for their gardens to grow vegetables, and herbs for use in their food and medicine.
Several factors influenced what was grown in the gardens. First, settlers came from different parts of the country and they would grow plants they had grown in their previous home. Second, the settlers had different nationalities and that influenced the foods they ate. That affected what they wanted in their gardens. Finally, the availability of seeds, the climate and soil conditions determined what was grown. Common plants included beans, potatoes, corn, cabbages, turnips, peas, apples and herbs.
Herbs had a vital role in the settlers’ lives. They were used as seasonings for food as well as medicines to cure illness, soothe pains and treat injuries. This was important since there might not be a doctor nearby. Settlers brought some herbs with them but also learned about native plants from American Indians and other settlers.
As settlers prospered, so did their gardens. They not only planted a greater variety of plants, but also began to grow flowers just for their beauty.
When you visit 1836 Prairietown, you will see a variety of gardens. Feel free to ask about the plants growing in the gardens. If you are feeling energetic, you might ask around to see if anyone has garden chores for you to do!