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In the Library



altVegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Way: 18th Century Methods for Today’s Organic Gardenersby Wesley Greene


This is another great book about gardening in Virginia. Filled with gorgeous photography and step-by-step instructions for organic gardening, this delightful book fed both my mind and soul.


“In 18th-century gardens, the broccoli was purple and ‘turkey’ cucumbers grew to 3 feet long. Oiled paper was used instead of plastic for sheltering transplants, and manure heated the hotbed for January seedlings. Limewater controlled aphids, and a simple tile trapped slugs in the lettuce beds. And melon seeds were improved by walking about with them in your pockets.


Step in the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg , the nation’s foremost historic preservation site, and you’ll find that gardeners have rediscovered the art of the well- ordered kitchen garden. In Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Way, historic gardener Wesley Greene shares history and folklore associated with growing vegetables, along with practical advice on 50 beloved garden vegetables and herbs, garden tools, and cultivation techniques.


For those who love connecting with the earth through gardening, there is no better way than to dig into the wisdom of 18th century gardeners and botanists. Informative and entertaining, Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Wayinspires today’s organic gardeners to preserve time-tested methods and the tradition of kitchen gardening.


Perhaps the most enlightening section for me described plans for construction of hotbeds. Using fermenting fresh manure, these structures, very similar to cold frames, are used for starting early seedlings and ripening tender crops. The majority of gardeners today don’t think much about such things, as vegetable seedlings are readily handed to us at the corner hardware or feed store, but for the early colonist who depended on the kitchen garden for sustenance, survival of these babies meant the difference between their family’s survival or demise. I am very anxious to start our own seedlings in these structures sometime in the near future.