News from Garfield Farm
On Sunday August 26th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Garfield Farm Museum will host the 18th annual Heirloom Garden Show that features historic varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and antique flowers. Gardeners from the Great Lakes region are invited to
bring, display, offer for tasting or sell their favorite historic varieties.
Although consumers have the choice of over 100 styles of running shoes or dozens of designer jeans, the consumer has little opportunity to buy, much less learn about the great diversity of vegetables and fruits that exist. Difficult farm economics for a
mass-market means only the most profitable tomato or lettuce variety is grown. Yet over 500 varieties of tomatoes that come with different colors, shapes, sizes, cooking characteristics, taste, and shelf life exist. With the growth of the organic and
specialty foods market, demand for these different traits is on the upswing.
This is in large part because of the Seed Savers Exchange of Decorah, IA that has endeavored to preserve the great genetic legacy of our gardening and farming ancestors. With Seed Savers, the Slow Food Movement, organic, and sustainable farming
interests, the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, and Garfield Farm Museum?s show, today?s consumer is better educated and desires more choice in the varieties of fresh produce.
To portray an 1840s Illinois prairie farm, Garfield Farm must constantly research and find sources. Often finding mention of a particular variety grown in the 1840s is easier than finding the actual plant. The Seed Savers Exchange and the Center for
Historic Plants have been instrumental in providing the sources for these old varieties.
Featured at this year?s show will be John Swanson from Glenview, IL and his garlic. Joe Cimmarusti and his family with their wonderful tomato display will be in front of the museum?s 1842 Barn. For those who like it hot, Jimmy?s Chilies from Tinley
Park will be attending with his homemade chili pepper recipes. The Travis Family from Spence Farm, who have their own educational downstate historic farm. Many other gardeners shall also be on the museum?s grounds.
All this does not include the hard work of museum volunteers who have generously donated their time to fight the weeds in tending to the museum?s Heirloom Vegetable Garden and Antique Flower Garden grown specifically for the show. Tours of this and the
inn?s kitchen garden and the prairie will also be offered.
The focal point of the museum, the 1846 brick tavern will be open for tours as the museum?s volunteers share the unusual history of the site, which once was filled with teamster and farmers hauling their wheat to the 1840s Chicago port.
Food and refreshments will be available from the Inglenook Pantry of Geneva, IL. The show is $6 for adults and $2 for children under 13 years of age. For information contact 630 584-8485 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Museum is located 5 miles west
of Geneva, IL off Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. Donors and volunteers from around the country are restoring this historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead as an 1840s working farm museum.