18th Century Gardening

To add to the interpretation of life at the Pownalborough Court House, Mike Dekker has created a small food garden, next to the existing flower garden and grape arbor. Using only 18th Century tools — reproduced by trustee Jeff Miller — ground was broken in late May 2020.

The crops are the “Three Sisters” of Native American lore: corn; beans to grow up the corn stalks; and squash to keep the roots cool and trap moisture. The English settlers did not take to this method and instead continued planting in their accustomed rows. Recent research has shown that on large scale plantings, the techniques employed by Maine’s native people has proven more effective than the English method.

The slide show below shows reenactors breaking ground, period appropriate tools, completed gardens, and haying on the Court House property. Click any image to view it in full size.