Coggeshall Farm Museum Heirloom Kitchen Garden
Coggeshall Farm Museum's Heirloom Kitchen Garden preserves over 60 varieties of vegetables and fruit that were common in New England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Most of these varieties have fallen out of favor with modern producers for a variety of reasons: some don't handle shipping well; some ripen over a period of time instead of all at once, making industrial processing difficult; some varieties are smaller in size, though usually packed with more flavor than you'd usually find at a supermarket.
The garden is cultivated using historic and sustainable methods. We use the garden as an educational tool to teach people about topics such as the importance of gardening in the past & present, historic garden methods and heirlom plants, seed saving, basic garden how-to cultivation, and even things like visual demonstrations of how worms turn our cows' manure into compost, and why that is important. Our intention is to bring our visitors closer to the roots of their own food supply, and help to ensure a demand and awareness for locally grown produce.
The museum carefully saves seeds from every possible vegetable variety in order to preserve and promote these increasingly rare cultivars. Beyond what is needed for producing seeds, most of the garden produce is used in the museum hearth cooking programs, getting participants involved in the "farm to table" process. The museum also demonstrates root cellaring and other pre-industrial preservation methods. Excess produce or seeds beyond the previously stated needs are sold to help support educational programming, and what is not sold is divided among museum staff & volunteers involved in the garden.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA