Agricultural Fields & Gardens at Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center
Jamestown Settlement Powhatan Indian village
Beauty meets function in fields and gardens at Jamestown Settlement and the The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, where agriculture is included in the story of the nation’s beginnings. Varieties of crops and herbs and vegetables grown in the 17th and 18th centuries are cultivated at both museums.
Corn, a food staple of the Powhatan Indians that English colonists adapted to their diet, is planted in early spring at the Powhatan village and fort, as well as at the 1780s farm. At Jamestown Settlement, beans and squash are later planted around the emerging corn stalks, a Powhatan practice also adopted by English colonists.
Tobacco, Virginia’s premier cash crop during the colonial period, is grown at both museums, with seedlings planted in mid-spring. Nicotiana rustica, a native variety, grows in the Powhatan village, and Nicotiana tabacum, a type brought to Virginia in the early 17th century, is cultivated outside the Jamestown Settlement fort and at the The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown farm. Cotton and flax – crops used in making cloth – are grown at the The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and grain is planted at both museums.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown tending crops
Dozens of varieties of vegetables and herbs used in the 17th and 18th centuries for food, medicine, fabric dye and insect repellant are cultivated year-round in gardens and beds at both museums. Peas, carrots, lettuce, chard, onions and radishes are among vegetables planted in the spring. Some items have two growing seasons and others, like kale, cabbage and parsnips, thrive in cool weather. Feverfew, wormwood, savory, rosemary, yarrow, coriander, sage, thyme, dill, oregano, chamomile and lemon balm are among the herbs – mostly perennials – grown at both museums.
At the The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown farm, peanuts, collards, cowpeas, okra, peppers and gourds are grown in a small garden representing foods a slave might have cultivated for personal use or to sell at market. Sunflowers, a food source native to the Americas, are grown here as well as at Jamestown Settlement’s Powhatan village.
Historical Gardens Package