Watch "Putting Down Roots" author Marcia Carmichael discuss the book, its connection to Wisconsin historic site Old World Wisconsin, and the joys of heirloom gardening. Writing "Putting Down Roots" gave me the opportunity to share a wealth of information about the plants and gardens grown by early settlers in the Upper Midwest, based on extensive research of original 19th and early 20th century sources, including material collected by Old World Wisconsin staff over the last 35 years.
By focusing on the garden and food traditions of different immigrant populations, I was able to showcase the rich ethnic diversity of early Wisconsin settlers.
Since you work with historical gardens at Old World Wisconsin, how was writing "Putting Down Roots" a personal experience? The opportunity to pursue extensive research has brought me an even greater appreciation for the strengths, challenges, and triumphs of early settlers.
Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin’s Early Settlers
I feel a close connection to and continuity with people of previous generations who dreamed, planned, planted, nurtured, and harvested their gardens. At Old World Wisconsin, I strive to create gardens with which the original settlers would be comfortable and pleased. I feel a special warmth for the women who brought precious plants as remembrances from their homeland, and generously passed them on, allowing others to enjoy them. What were some of the most surprising or interesting things you learned about the different gardening techniques of Wisconsin's immigrants?
I have been surprised by how little gardening advice has changed through the years. Gardeners of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries could easily converse with each other, commiserate over the universal challenges of weather, weeds, and pests, and rejoice in each other's successes. And gardeners have always found the creativity to design whatever tool or device is needed to accomplish the task at hand.
How is this book unique to Wisconsin? Why is it important to know the history of gardening in Wisconsin? The book also provides a sampling of typical period-appropriate recipes, highlighting various ethnic groups. Photographs of re-created gardens planted and maintained at Old World Wisconsin are evidence that gardens can exist despite the climatic challenges of the Upper Midwest! Gardens provided sustenance as well as beauty for early Wisconsin settlers. With the current interest in treating the environment gently, gardening organically, and eating locally grown food, many people are looking back to the gardening practices of previous generations.
The recipes included in "Putting Down Roots" were chosen to highlight garden produce that may be as easily grown in and harvested from today's gardens as it was more than years ago. Great satisfaction may be found in growing and using heirloom varieties when preparing recipes of our ancestors. I enjoy the unusual, and am pleased to share historical recipes for pickling radish pods and for soothing coughs.
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I hope readers will take pride in their own ethnic heritage and perhaps become interested in looking to their own roots. I hope they find inspiration to create their own gardens and possibly include at least a few old fashioned plants. The interview originally aired on Thursday, June 9, on the "Lake Effect" program, Her rich, readable guide to the historical gardens at Old World Wisconsin explores the multi-layered meanings of food in nineteenth-century life.
Jenniver Fandel, "ForeWord Reviews" "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. Visit our other Wisconsin Historical Society websites!
Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Why did you decide to write "Putting Down Roots?
What is your favorite recipe from the book? What do you hope readers take away from "Putting Down Roots? They had some pretty great expectations here in the Midwest with our good soil. Generations later, a trend among home gardeners is to revisit those heritage plantings in their own gardens.
Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers by Marcia C. Carmichael
I also think our modern palates are more sophisticated, so there's a chance that the exact herb your great-grandparents grew may not appeal to you at all. 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. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Culture and history can be passed from one generation to the next through the food we eat, the vegetables and fruits we plant and harvest, and the fragrant flowers and herbs that enliven our gardens.
The plants our ancestors grew tell stories about their way of life. These European immigrants and Yankee settlers brought their traditional foodways with them—their family recipes and the seeds, roots, and slips of cherished plants—to serve as comfort food, in the truest sense. Carmichael guides us through these gardens, sharing insights on why the owners of the original houses—be they Yankee settlers, German, Norwegian, Irish, Danish, Polish, or Finnish immigrants—planted and harvested what they did.
Putting Down Roots celebrates the diversity and rich ethnic settlement of Wisconsin. Read more Read less. Enabled Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. A History of Home Gardening. 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.
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. Product details File Size: November 6, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention old world world wisconsin gardening gardens recipes ethnic garden roots groups researched various. Showing of 11 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This book will do it! Fantastic book on the gardens that were grown by the various ethnic groups that settled in Wisconsin. Also goes into the social and cultural history.
A very interesting read and wonderfully illustrated. Sidebars give great tidbits of information as well. I am definitely going to make and employ a garden marker. A fascinating book that I'd recommend to anyone interested in gardening or Wisconsin history. This book has it all. You learn what our early immigrants to Wisconsin planted and ate. There are wonderful photographs of the ethnic areas at Old World Wisconsin.
The staff there does an excellent job of keeping things "real" and true to the time period. The garden on the cover is as pretty as it is functional. At the back of the book you will find a number of original pioneer recipes you can try. Comprehensive book, well researched!
Loads of footnotes for references! Marcia really makes the settlers come alive. Putting Down Roots is an amazing accomplishment: