Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Did you know that raised bed gardening was the method of choice for most kitchen gardeners in the mid-19th century? Neither did I until our newest historical interpreter, Pat, pointed it out. Like all of our interpreters, Pat brought with her a unique skill set dynamically suited to educating and inspiring our visitors. And as we do with all our interpreters, we set about figuring out how best to utilize (exploit) these skills to our advantage.

Pat is a Master Gardener and has devoted much of her life and time to educating children and adults about gardening. She researched 19th century gardens and developed the plan you currently see in progress. And so the Log Cabin Village raised bed garden is currently underway. Want to see our experiment unfold? Stay tuned...

Please click on the slideshow to start and to control the speed...

Friday, October 7, 2011

The legend of the corn husk doll...

Very soon we'll be featuring our Frontier Fall Fest event here at Log Cabin Village. We're very excited because in addition to a number of activities included with regular Village admission, visitors will have the chance to make copper bracelets with a Silversmyth for $5 (while supplies last) and corn husk dolls for $3.

Corn husk dolls are an interesting craft because they have roots in many different cultures. This is more than likely due to the common nature of people using available materials to create useful and/or delightful things. Although most commonly associated with Native American culture, corn husk dolls appear in the history of many of our white, black, and Latino ancestors as well. They are truly a cross-cultural historical toy!

Perhaps most famous is the Legend of the Corn Husk Doll cited frequently as deriving from Native American culture. While I haven't yet discovered a specific origin (or determined whether it is, indeed, a true Native American legend), it is a great story that reminds us all of the dangers of being vain and self-centered. Most sources indicate that the legend stems from the Iroquois Confederacy, of which Oneida and Seneca were parts. Here are a few different sources for the legend, with only slight variations in each. Enjoy!