Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How To Garden on An Historic Site.

This is more a "How in the world and I going to garden on an historic site," rather than instructions on how to do so. I guess you can all learn along with me.

I was asked to help with the landscaping of our county's old Poor Farm. This is a MG project to be done along with several others including rainwater harvesting systems and landscaping around other county buildings.

The farm was established in 1883 to house and provide medical care to the county's paupers. An individual was assigned to the farm after being declared a pauper and were to stay there until they could support themselves or died. Able bodied persons were required to work. Apparently, a few "lazy" people were given train tickets out of Kaufman County and the great State of Texas. A court order was required in order to leave the farm. During 1900 the farm was used as an epidemic camp during a small pox outbreak. Later it was used to showcase new farming technologies.

As we walked around today, I saw a hodgepodge of buildings, equipment, and overgrown fence rows. The old jail, 1960's era I believe, is being used for storage. This building gave me the creepy crawlies. I am not sure what structural problems exist in each of the buildings. Water is the first order of business. We found a spigot, but it is not working. The door to one of the buildings had to be kicked hard in order for us to get in. We found a rusted wrench and a rusted ring of some kind.

My challenge will be to find Earthkind designated plants that might have been available in 1883. A square foot garden is being planned for a fenced in "yard." The goal is to turn this into a museum.