The Fort Larned National Historic Site is looking for a few good gardeners.
Gardeners who don’t mind doing things the old-fashioned way and would be willing to spend at least two hours a week helping garden at the fort. Volunteers can share in the produce.
The fort is using heirloom seeds, the type grown before the 1940s. The type of vegetables grown in the garden are listed in the Assistant Surgeon’s report on gardens of 1870 – beans, beats, cabbage, Hopi corn, cucumber, lettuce, melon, tomato, radish, onion, spinach, squash, turnips and peas.
Fort Larned gardeners had no irrigation. They watered by making numerous trips to the river, filling buckets and trekking back to their gardens. Pesticides weren’t used.
Some years, the gardens were abundant; other years, not so much.
“The grasshoppers are eating the cabbage and turnips; there seems to be no remedy for these ravages,” the fort’s Assistant Surgeon, S.G. Cowdrey, wrote in June/July of 1873.
The Fort Larned National Historic Site is considered one of the best preserved Indian Wars forts in the nation. It’s a 21/2-hour drive northwest of Wichita. The fort is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, call 620-285-6911 or visit nps.gov/fols.