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Civil War Era heirlooms?

Posted by tumblingtomatoes fl ,space coast (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 10, 10 at 11:21

Hi all,
After reading a couple of Civil War diaries, I was curious about what kinds of vegetables (specific varieites of heirlooms) would have been commonly grown in home gardens during that time period (both South & North).

I've looked around online & can only find limited info on variety names. I often see things like lettuce, tomatoes, okra, southern peas, beans, squash, etc. But seem to have a hard time tracking down actual variety types, like Eva Purple ball tomato for example, & so on......

Does anyone have any info?
Flowers & herbs too if anyone has any info! Thanks again!

Thanks very much! :) Have a great weekend!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

Google heirloom vegetable seeds. Many of the seed sources do identify some history and origins.


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

Concur, altho many of them make up stories. That era was before seed companies so ther were mostly local varieties which were passed around and might have different nmes in each locality. Examples of beans : Caseknife, Red Valentine, German Black Wax, Red Flageolet, King of the Garden. Beet: Blood Turnip. Cabbage: Drumhead, Jersey Wakefield, Winningstad, Cannon Ball, Green Glaze. Carrot: St. Valery, Danvers,Ox Heart. Collard: Georgia. Sweet corn: Cory, Stowell's Evergreen. Cucumber: White Spine, Boston Pickling, Long Green. Kohlrabi: Vienna. Lettuce: Black Seeded Simpson. melon; Banana,Nutmeg. Watermelon: Mountain Sweet, Mountain Hoosier, Scaly Bark


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

Thanks guys, great info! Have a great weekend! :)


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

i HEARD THERE WAS A CORN VARIETY called "little picininy".


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

Really "Farmfreedom"..... no need for racist BS on a gardening forum... Some peoples' kids..... How are those attitudes holdin un in America 2010, frustrating isn't it.... Diversity abounds, even in the white house......


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

Actually there is an old Sweet Corn variety called "Pickaninny". It is a yellow sweet corn when ready to eat fresh but turns black when seeds are ready for sowing.(Fall)!
There is also a Tomato called Ni@@er which can be found in the SSE Yearbook. Also there is a Red Cabbage called Dark Red Ni@@erhead.


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

This should be of help to you, tumblingtomatoes: http://www.westville.org/documents/Pre-1850Substitutes.pdf

Another helpful website is Old House Gardens for the bulbs

Here is some help with herbs. I make many of the herbal items found here: http://www.civilwarinteractive.com/Herbs.htm (not that I have a particular interest in civil war gardens, but I am interested in historic gardening of all types and eras).

This is interesting too: http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/history/hs_es_cuisine.htm since so many people crave foods from their homelands or what they grew up with, it is natural that African Americans had some favorites

I have gotten a lot of information from reading historical fiction. It seems to be a great source (the author has done all the work for me!) of information to research. I take it with a grain of salt, and use the information to seek out more concrete information for myself. At the same time I often have a great read!

Happy Gardening,
girlgroupgirl


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

I am not into RACISM that was the name back then . Henderson lima was discovered by an emancipated slave at the close of the civil war ,some say.


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

No one but Sage721 though you were making a racist comment, Farmfreedom. Historical names for things are often not politically correct according to today's PC police.

Di


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 20, 10 at 10:38

Geeze, I never even hear of that word, and I'm no kid. So it is possible for someone to list a variety name and not know that it was once used as a derogatory term.
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The 'Field and Garden Vegetables of America' by Fearing Burr was written in 1863 and lists many of the varieties available at the time. I suggest buying that to get a good comprehensive list. It is available as a reprint.
There weren't many tomato varieties listed in it. They didn't start to come into larger popularity until the late 1880's.
As far as being PC, I just about died laughing at the section in the book on growing opium poppies and how children and women working the fields of it would make it cost effective for opium production!
Remy


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

Try some of the living and historic farms or museums. Georgia is home to Georgia Agrirama (Tifton). Most collect and grow period vegetable varieties.

It would also be interesting to locate period catalogs.


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

The Atlanta History Center has an 1860's farm where you can see period-appropriate flowers, herbs, vegetables and field crops growing year-round. I am the Curator, you are welcome to ask any questions. Try Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for seeds that are available today and some historic information. The Cherokee Garden Library is a great source for any southern gardening questions you may have. They are a treasure trove of historic garden catalogs, books, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Atlanta History Center's Smith Family Farm


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

GardenCurator,

Can you tell me if red cabbage was grown in civil war period gardens here in Georgia?

Thanks,

GaDawg985


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RE: Civil War Era heirlooms?

Wow, a I'm a brand new member and you've begun answering my questions before I can even ask them! In the, hopefully not too distant future, I'm looking to buy a house in the historic district of a Missouri Civil War river town and the board overseeing the district is uber-strict, even in terms of gardening material. Figured the sooner I started my research the better and you provided me with several great places to start.!


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