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Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers Paperback – May 26, 2011


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Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers + Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press; 1st Edition edition (May 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870204661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870204661
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In a time when people are increasingly concerned about organic gardening practices and the need for more variety in our plants for the health of the planet, Carmichael shows readers the value in drawing from the past for the good of the present. For avid gardeners and simple admirers of other people’s gardens alike, Putting Down Roots is an absorbing book of Wisconsin’s history and culture." (Jennifer Fandel, ForeWord Reviews)

“How do you read a garden? Read it the way Marcia Carmichael does and you’ll learn about so much more than plants. Her rich, readable guide to the historical gardens at Old World Wisconsin explores the multi-layered meanings of food in nineteenth-century life. This is real-life, everyday history—not dates and titles, but seeds, tools, recipes, and meals that illustrate immigrant hopes, values, and traditions. Putting Down Roots is an entrancing heirloom feast for today’s cooks, gardeners, and food history buffs.” (Terese Allen, coauthor of The Flavor of Wisconsin and Organic Valley Food Editor)

“For anyone interested in gardening or cooking with heirlooms, Putting Down Roots is a marvelous resource. If you can’t visit Old World Wisconsin in person, this book is the next best thing to being there. Recipes such as black salsify salad, potato candy, and more recapture the flavors of Wisconsin’s past. What a treat!” (Shelley Ryan, host of The Wisconsin Gardener on Wisconsin Public Television)



2011 Honorable Mention for the Ellis-Henderson Outdoor Writing Prize from the Council of Wisconsin Writers
2011 Winner in the Midwest Regional Interest: Text Category from Midwest Independent Publishers Association
2012 Winner of the Annual Book Award from the American Horticultural Society
 

About the Author

Marcia C. Carmichael is the historical gardener at the 576-acre Old World Wisconsin, the largest of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s living history museums, where she exercises her passion for historical accuracy and enjoys the research as much as the design, creation, and nurturing of the museum’s heritage gardens. She supervises and works alongside a dedicated group of historical garden volunteers to create period-appropriate gardens and appreciates all aspects of heirloom plants, from propagation to harvest and from folklore to fact.
 

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Customer Reviews

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See all 7 customer reviews
Colored photos are fun.
Joan E. Janssen
Putting Down Roots is a book that would make a fabulous Christmas gift for any gardener.
Thomas Mickey
There are wonderful photographs of the ethnic areas at Old World Wisconsin.
Sue H

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chuckr on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! Marcia really makes the settlers come alive. Putting Down Roots is an amazing accomplishment: a pictorial presentation of realistic life in Wisconsin in the 1800s; a most readable and entertaining description of the circumstances of ethnic groups along with their recipes; an extensive bibliography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Mickey on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Marcia Carmichael's book is well worth your time to read it. To accompany the text she includes many stunning images, most in color, from the gardens of Old World Wisconsin located in Eagle, Wisconsin, a living museum of nineteenth century houses and gardens.

Carmichael is the Historic Gardens Coordinator at the 576-acre Old World Wisconsin so she writes from her extensive research and gardening experience.

With clear writing the book provides the reader an opportunity to see how ethnic gardening developed in the nineteenth century with various groups that came to live and farm in Wisconsin, including Yankees, Germans, Irish, Finnish, and Polish.

They each came with seeds and plants from their home area, but by 1880 they were gardening with the standards of mainstream America, like planting vegetables in neat rows, rather than in beds. Like the rest of the country, mass advertising of goods and services impacted gardening as it did everything else for the home. The kitchen garden was moved to the back of the house, and the home grounds featured a lawn that you could cut with the popular new lawnmower.

The recipes Carmichael includes at the end of each chapter are an extra feature in the book. Each ethnic group used the herbs and vegetables from the garden to cook a favorite salad, meat, or desert. The recipes look like fun because she has written them so simply with few ingredients and clear instructions. Soon I will be sure to try one that I caught my attention, the Danish sugar-browned potatoes.

The book makes me want to visit Old World Wisconsin the next time I am back home.

Putting Down Roots is a book that would make a fabulous Christmas gift for any gardener.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda M on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an astoundingly good book. Anyone who is a gardener or cook in the middle of America (and anyone else with an appropriate climate or memories to match) will be engaged with this lively, deeply researched study of 19th century immigration to Wisconsin. The author looks at this immigration process through the lenses of the immigrants' gardening practices, the tools and plants they used, and the food they prepared with the crops they grew. The book is lavishly and beautifully illustrated. It is historical, but it is history with life breathed into it. I've read a lot of cultural and social history and this book is near the top of any list that I would create. The appeal of this book spreads far beyond Wisconsin -- anyone who loves plants or is descended from European immigrants or who cooks in an American style will be enchanted. So far, I've purchased three copies for gifts!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I found this to be interesting and very nicely laid out. Liked the inclusion of the recipes too. Wish there was some info on early Dutch gardens and life because that is my heritage but it was a great read. I also enjoyed it more because I've been to Old World Wisconsin and recognized several of the photos.
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