in What's New
May 20, 2013
in What's New
May 16, 2013
May 15, 2013
The sweet melon, prized by gardeners and gourmands, appears to have its origin in the area surrounding the Black Sea and was first imported to Italy in the fifteenth century. Philip Miller described its introduction in The Gardeners Dictionary (1754) “This Sort was brought from Armenia, on the Confines near Persia, where the best Melons in the World grow…[it] has been long cultivated at Cantaleupe, a little District about ten Leagues form Rome.” Cantaleupe, or “house of wolf’ now provides us with the common name for this noblest of kitchen garden fruits.
True cantaloupes are seldom seen at market today as they have largely been replaced by the musk, or netted melon, and by the winter melon, such as the honey dew. Also known as rock melons, for their thick rinds and warted skins, they were the orange fleshed melons our ancestors knew. The oldest varieties of musk melons generally had green flesh. About the time the true cantaloupe disappeared, the orange fleshed musk melon appeared, so we have simply borrowed the name.
For a complete examination of the melons and their kinds you are invited to peruse Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg way, 18th century methods for today’s organic gardeners (Rodale Press)
May 13, 2013
in What's New
May 9, 2013
Registration for our award-winning field trip, “Founders or Traitors,” is free for a whole year! Get free access to this Electronic Field Trip including its award winning collection of video, lesson plans, interactive web games, and resources through May 1, 2014.
Colonial Williamsburg’s Gift to the Nation provides teachers with unique resources to engage student citizens in the values that shaped our nation. The Electronic Field Trip Founders or Traitors explores late 1776, “the times that try men’s souls.” Meet the signers of the Declaration of Independence and discover the risks they took.
May 8, 2013
We start sweet potato slips in late March by burying a potato about two inches deep in fine compost on a gentle hotbed. The frame is kept well watered and when the foliage is about six inches tall the slips are harvested by gently pulling them from the potato. These are then planted on ridges in well composted soil and then thoroughly watered in to settle the soil around the roots. Ridges are particularly important if your soil is stiff as the best shaped potatoes are formed in a light, well-drained soil.
For a complete description of the culture of sweet potatoes we invite you to investigate Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg way, 18th century methods for today’s organic gardeners (Rodale Press)