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Garfield Farm Museum's 23rd Annual Heirloom Garden Show August 26

CAMPTON HILLS, IL- -Garfield Farm Museum is holding its 23rd Annual Heirloom Garden Show on Sunday August 26 from 11 am - 4 pm. During the show, visitors can tour the museum's heirloom gardens and interact with Midwestern growers showing off their favorite heirloom flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

The garden show highlights the importance of preserving genetic diversity in the very plants that we rely on for food, medicine, and enjoyment. Many of these heirloom fruits and vegetables have unique tastes, cooking traits, appearances, and disease or insect resistance that may not be found in the more common grocery store varieties.

The chance to meet backyard gardeners, many of whom are members of the Seed Savers Exchange (SSE), a nonprofit organization that has connected plant enthusiasts from around the world, is reason enough to attend the show.  SSE is a remarkable grass roots effort that began in 1975 and is based out of Decorah, Iowa. Seed Savers receives a portion of the proceeds from the show.

Gardeners from LaPort, Chalmers, and Spencer IN will be comparing their harvest with growers from around Illinois but they will all be on their toes when Rolling Prairie Acres Farm of Sigourny, IA shows up with an entire family of gardeners. Local honey from Campton Hills will be vying with Rockford honey. Garlic and tomato lovers will especially be pleased with the season's best. Additional items to be exhibited include various vegetable seed, peppers, herbs in pots, homemade vinegars, various exotic species of fruits & spices,  flowers, pawpaw, persimmon,  hot sauce for tasting, beans, lima beans, cowpeas, cutting celery, California Giant Petunias, and Asian long beans.

The museum's own historic gardens are a delight for many visitors both young and old. The heirloom flower garden houses many old time favorites, such as, “Love Lies Bleeding” or “Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate” that hark back to simpler times. Hollyhocks, often remembered by those that grew up in the country, bloom in various corners of the barnyard. The heirloom vegetable garden is made up of varieties that the Garfield's themselves may have grown including rare pre-blight potatoes. The garden offers children a chance to see where the food they eat comes from.    

The kitchen garden by the tavern contains herbs and spices as well as some native flowers. Accounts of the time encouraged transplanting prairie flowers to the garden as they were already disappearing from the 1840s landscape. The Pottawatomie Garden Club of St. Charles has provided monetary support for the museum's gardens over the years.      

There are plenty of other things to see on the farm. Visitors can check out the various animals in the barnyard, admire the historic barns, and stroll through the restored prairie and savanna. There will also be tours of the 1846 brick tavern.

During the show, there will be some garden seed and plants for sale. Inglenook Pantry of Geneva will be offering refreshments including homemade pie in the Atwell Burr House. The show is $6 for adults and $3 for children under 13 years of age. For information, call 630 584-8485 or email The museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt.38 on Garfield Road. This historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead is being restored as an 1840s working farm museum by donors and volunteers from around the country.

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.