Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gardening on Flynn's Hill

My 2011 Garden in Wisconsin - featuring "Rapunzel the Scarecrow Lady"
Made by Avery my Grand Daughter and my Great Niece Skylar
with a little help from Brian my son.

My grandparents grew vegetables on Flynn's Hill to sustain there family of seven.  Their harvest of potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, cabbage and beets were stored for the winter in the Root Cellar.  The Root Cellar was built on to the back of the house right into the base of the hill, so that the back wall was the earth itself.

The gardens were in several locations around their property, things like lettuce, beets and carrots were planted in an area toward the front of the house. Potatoes, turnips, parsnips and cabbage were planted "inside the meadow" up past Bill and Nell's place, according to Aunt Agnes. Newfoundland has a very rocky terrain making it impossible to have large planting fields.

Most things were started from seed.  But turnips, she remembers came from small starter plants which were bought.  I imagine tomatoes were bought as small plants as well, to get a jump start on the very short growing season of Newfoundland. The tomatoes needed to be picked while they were still green and brought inside before the frost to ripen.

Potato planting began from leftover potatoes from the previous year.  Taken from the Root Cellar, they were cut into pieces so that an eye of the potato was exposed on each piece. They then sat for 3 weeks to "cure" before planting. Aunt Agnes states she remembers her sister Mary, my mother, helped their father plow the field in preparation for planting. Her job was to lead the horse while their father followed behind with the plow to make a "drill" or trench.  The potato pieces were placed in the "drill" with the eye facing upward.The children were responsible for digging up the potatoes in the fall. Occasionally they would miss school in order to get this done before the winter set in.

Lastly, Aunt Agnes tells me about the "Cherry Garden" which was located behind their house.  Her mother had a strawberry and rhubarb patch along with a Cherry and Plum Tree ( Damson Plums). Sweet Rewards for all their hardwork!

Avery Elizabeth Clark
sitting in her Nana's Strawberry Patch

1 comment:

  1. Elaine, your description of the Flynn Garden made me feel as if I was there. Aunt Agnes shared a beautiful story. As always, your garden is a special place that nourishes your family just as the Flynn garden did.