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Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers Paperback – May 26, 2011
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"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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, interesting format. Lots of fun details. I know Old World Wisconsin and the author also!!Published 15 months ago by Patricia A. Wright
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... Read morePublished on February 26, 2014 by TMB
Read this book from cover to cover. Then after reading it, I had go to old world to photograph the gardens myself. Each nationality in the book includes recipes. Read morePublished on September 7, 2013 by Trast