Farms of the 1880s raised cash crops but they also had a nearby garden often called "community" or " kitchen" gardens, where housewives and kids grew fresh vegetables and herbs for the kitchen. Our garden, built in 2009, is a reconstruction of a Mackinaw kitchen garden. The fence around it is designed to keep deer out and to be as inexpensive as possible to build. The bean pole that looks like a tee-pee is a replica of one used in Mackinaw City.
The garden was introduced to help local families supplement their tables in difficult times. Cost is $20 for the season and gardeners must sign a note saying they will weed, water and care for their plots, which they have done diligently.
The crops of the first four years have been quite good. The society built four raised beds, with walkways between them,
for the convenience of senior citizens. Traditional kitchen gardens would not have had them.
One initial problem was the long walk for gardeners to carry water from the well to the garden. That was solved by installation of a horse trough in the garden which the city keeps filled during the growing season. Other problems have been the very short growing season in Northern Michigan, the grubs and the large numbers of rocks in the soil.
|Garden Manager Dorothy Krueger and helper Mike|
Garden manager Dorothy Krueger asks gardeners to plant at least one type of flower to bring bees to the garden. Sunflowers are planted at the back of the garden and pumpkins and squash at the west edge. At the end of the growing season she tells gardeners to clear the plot of plants and till the soil.
|Bloomin' Flowers and Kitchen Crops||Judy Bennett and her Radishes|