Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin’s Early Settlers

Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin’s Early Settlers
Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin’s Early Settlers
Paperback: $24.95
256 pages, 186 b/w and color photos and illus., 8 x 9"
ISBN: 9780870204661

Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Orders for Trade, Library or Wholesale
Price: $24.95
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By Marcia C. Carmichael

Culture and history can be passed from one generation to the next through the food we eat, the vegetables and fruits we plant and harvest, and the fragrant flowers an herbs that enliven our gardens. The plants our ancestors grew tell stories about their way of life.

Wisconsin’s nineteenth-century settlers arrived in the New World in search of new opportunities and the chance to create a better life. These European immigrants and Yankee settlers brought their traditional foodways with them—their family recipes and the seeds, roots, and slips of cherished plants—to serve as comfort food, in the truest sense.

This part of our collective history comes alive at Old World Wisconsin’s recreated nineteenth-century heirloom gardens. In Putting Down Roots, historical gardener Marcia C. Carmichael guides us through these gardens, sharing insights on why the owners of the original houses—be they Yankee settlers, German, Norwegian, Irish, Danish, Polish, or Finnish immigrants—planted and harvested what they did. She shares timeless lessons with today’s gardeners and cooks about planting trends and practices, garden tools used by early settlers, popular plant varieties, and favorite flavors of Wisconsin’s early settlers, including recipes for such classics as Irish soda bread, pierogi, and Norwegian rhubarb custard.

Winner of the 2012 annual Book Award from the American Horticultural Society.

Marcia Carmichael is the historical gardener at the 576-acre Old World Wisconsin, the largest of the Wisconsin Historical Society's living history museums, where she exercises her passion for historical accuracy and enjoys the research as much as the design, creation, and nurturing of the museum's heritage gardens. She supervises and works alongside a dedicated group of historical garden volunteers to create period-appropriate gardens and appreciated all aspects of heirloom plans, from propagation to harvest and from folklore to fact.