Sunday, September 14

Guerrilla Gardening Update, Portland OR

I wanted to give everyone an update on my Guerrilla Gardening Project. For those of you that don't know what I am talking about, read my earlier post here.

Although it does not look as pretty as I would want, I think I got a really good start. Take a look at what I grew there this summer. The garden was started in early July, and these pictures were taken the first week in September.

Right now I am debating whether I should put in a winter crop. One worry I have, is that the weeds and wild blackberries will take back over. Weeds don't die here in this area of the Pacific Northwest, like I am used to in the Midwest. Most of the time it is just not cold enough.

I have my eye on a small, white kitchen cabinet that a neighbor left out for someone to take. If it is there tomorrow, I am going to haul it back to my house. It is a perfect size for another mini raised bed.I am really looking forward to expanding the garden next year by adding more raised beds.

So what garden projects are you working on? Are you able to winter garden where you live? Leave us an update on Twitter ,or leave us a comment below this post.

Lemon Cucumbers grown up a fence. They really do climb!
Morning Glories. I would not sow these in a Oregon garden. They are invasive here.
I plan to pull these out very soon

The garden spot is full sun so it is perfect for growing melons

First year rhubarb. I am waiting to harvest until year 2

Zinnias from seed. I used annuals to fill in the bare spots in the garden

Another filler annual from seed. This one is Mexican Sunflower

Side view of the area

More annuals & Basil in one of the drawers that I used as a raised bed

Saturday, September 13

The Wilder Homestead Heritage Gardens Part 2

Beyond the kitchen gardens at the Wilder Homestead, we toured other productive areas of the farm which provided food for the Wilder family.

 The Wilder's grew apple trees. They also had Maple trees for maple syrup and sugar production. 
The pumpkin patch provided an ample supple of pumpkins for the winter.
We were shown the trap door to the cellar where much of the harvest was stored for the winter. The trap door was hidden on the farm porch floor. You can see a bit of the porch in the photo below.
 Behind the house in the barn, the Wilder family had a huge area to store hay for their livestock, as well as a threshing room where grain would have been threshed. The Wilder's kept chickens, sheep, pigs, cows and oxen and of, course, Morgan horses as fans of the book will well remember.
Onions, herbs and vegetables grew in the kitchen garden.
In the photo below you see hops growing which would have been used to make beer. Our guide told us this year's hops were no where near as tall as those they have grown in the past.
 Blueberry bushes offer a treat to visiting children. Children of today love blueberries as much as the children of the 1800s!
We saw this field on our way to the Trout River where the Wilder's fished.
 From here we followed a path through the woods to Trout River, walking in the steps of the family who once lived and farmed here.
And then with regret, it was time to leave. We drove away down a peaceful country road as the sun lowered in the sky and the museum closed up for the day.
 We'd had a wonderful day at the Wilder Homestead. It's my hope we will be able to visit again someday.

Next up...Lake Placid New York

Friday, September 12

The Wilder Homestead Heritage Gardens Part 1

 After our tour of the Wilder Homestead house and barns, we were treated to a tour of the heritage garden. The plants in this garden are those Mrs. Wilder would have planted and used. It's behind the house, not far from her kitchen.
We saw some large cabbage and other veggies.
This photo of these heirloom tomatoes does not give a realistic idea of just how huge these tomatoes are!
 Below you see a plant our tour guide told us is called False Indigo. I had never heard of this plant before our tour. It would have been used as a dye. Mrs. Wilder wove her own cloth on a loom upstairs in the house, so this plant would have been a great asset when dyeing her fabric.
 We saw some nice pumpkins and squash in the kitchen garden.
 I wish I could show you some photos of Mrs. Wilder's period kitchen and loom, but indoor photography is not permitted, so you'll just have to take a trip to Malone, New York to see this treasure of a museum for yourself!

Next up....part 2 of the Wilder Homestead Heritage Gardens.....

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