Stepping onto the Historic Stewart Farm is like whizzing back to a simpler time, so much so that’s it’s like the Pioneers that called this historic site home dropped everything, hopped in their horse drawn buggy, and fled.
One of the most interesting parts of the farm is the garden, which has been maintained by staff and volunteers who grow only the plants that could have been grown by the Stewarts themselves! The garden houses living heirlooms that are open pollinated, organic, non-GMO, and if they could talk, the stories they could tell would be amazing! Seedy Saturday, an annual event happening each April, is a celebration of these seeds, and an opportunity to trade and purchase them, so they can continue to grow and spread their stories. Aside from their historic significance and agricultural science, there’s a lot more to these seeds than meets the eye.
“Seedy Saturday at the farm is one of our most anticipated events,” explains Jerrilin Spence, curator at the site.“This is when our farm’s gardeners open up their treasury of flower, vegetable and herb seeds saved from the Stewart Farm’s heirloom gardens, some dating back to 1890!”
Gardening today is a wonderful hobby, it’s a way to enjoy the great outdoors and feel the earth under your fingernails, but for the Stewarts, gardening was their sustenance. It was their way of securing their survival. They poured over their fields, tended their soil and preserved the fruits of their labour in the root cellar so they could make it though the Winter. There may have been a few blooms in the garden, but for the most part gardening wasn’t for pleasure, it was an absolute necessity. For all of the uncertainty that pioneer life brought, they knew that they would be able to eat everyday because of their trusty seeds.
Grow your own green thumb with a countertop gardening presentation from ‘Gardenpreneur’ Shelly Levis at 12:30pm at the Stewart Hall.
**Photo courtesy of the Historic Stewart Farm