A kind and liberal spirit should be encouraged

This is a find: Cultivating Canadian gardens: the history of gardening in Canada. Some interesting tidbits from the site:

“The Hurons were particularly adept farmers. By the time the Europeans arrived, they were working large acreages, devoted for the most part to their major crops, the “three sisters”  –  maize (corn, Zea mays), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), and squash (Cucurbita pepo)…”

“When the Europeans arrived, the aboriginal gardeners passed on their knowledge of indigenous plants, including how to render sweet sap from the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) into syrup and sugar. They, in turn, adopted many of the new seeds and fruit trees brought by the immigrants. ”

“The Huron used a slash-and-burn method of agriculture which rapidly depleted the soil, requiring them to move every few years. ”

“When the United Empire Loyalists arrived in Upper Canada, the Hurons introduced them to the Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), a member of the sunflower family. Its roots were eaten as a substitute for potatoes and saw many immigrants through the early, hungry years.”

“As early as the 1670s, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s northern forts planted gardens with seeds sent from England. The greens especially (mustard sprouts, radish and turnip tops, and cabbages) were an important addition to the diet of the men who often suffered from scurvy.”

“The walled garden at the St. Sulpician Seminary on Notre Dame Street in Montreal, dating from the 1680s, is the oldest garden existing in Canada…”

I love this quote from Catherine Parr Traill, 1857:

“If you have more than a sufficiency for yourself do not begrudge a friend a share of your superfluous garden seeds. In a new country like Canada a kind and liberal spirit should be encouraged.”

Amen, sister.