Appomattox garden brings cabin site to life

News and Information from

   MAY 2016                                                   VOL 1 NO 2   

Appomattox garden brings cabin site to life

The arrival of spring signals the planting of vegetables and tobacco at our Appomattox museum. According to Josie Butler, Interpretation and Programs Manager, the new plantings will help to expand interpretation of the 19th-century cabin.  "People who lived in the cabin would have grown their own food," Josie explains. "They would not have bought food from a store."

Dr. Michael Hurst, an organic farmer from Red House, VA,  has volunteered to donate the plants and be in charge of planting our heirloom vegetable garden. Dr. Hurst has conducted research to determine the correct varieties of plants and proper layout of the garden. It will include cabbage, beets, onions, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, peas, okra, cow peas, snap beans and lima beans.

Lizard Tail Orinoco tobacco is being planted by Bruce and JoAnne Jones of Dark Leaf Farms in Appomattox. The plants are being donated by the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackstone, VA. Tobacco was the main cash crop and this type of tobacco  was the variety most commonly planted in Appomattox County during the mid-19th century.

According to Josie, lead interpreters at the Museum will care for and harvest the gardens. "Anyone who would like to help with this process will be welcome," she says. "If you choose not to assist with the weeding process but just want to relax on the front porch and watch, well, that is fine, too."