January 19, 2012
At the Fort Ticonderoga Kings Garden in New York they had a garrison garden back in the 1700s. This is the garden that the soldiers grew to feed themselves. They grew a lot of the different kinds of vegetables in this garden back in the 1700s.
It's neat to just look around and visualize how this is what they had for dinner back then. They grew everything including squash, beets, parsnips, leeks, cucumbers, fava beans and even cabbages. Actually, when the British took over this fort and conquered it from the French, one of the soldiers stole the cabbages from the French garden and presented them to the British general as a reward for having taken over the fort. He was the king of the cabbages!
There are a lot of great heirloom vegetables in here and there are some modern vegetables, too. They did grow melons back then and you can see some watermelons here today. Here is a little modern tip that you can do with your watermelons at home. If you want to grow them in a cool climate, make sure you grow the icebox type. Those are the round ones, such as 'Sugar Baby', because they mature faster. Also, when you start getting the fruits on them prop the fruits up on little plastic cups and that keeps them off the ground, a little bit warmer, but also it keeps them away from the mice, insects and diseases that might be on the ground, so they don't rot before they mature.
So you can have yourself some watermelon, as well as a nice heirloom garden!
By Charlie Nardozzi
PO Box 4508