Sunday, February 02, 2014

Produce at Fort Vancouver

Here's some photos of the plants grown at Fort Vancouver.  Since it was winter, there weren't a whole lot.  

There was a formal English garden at the fort.  Reading from the beds, they grew barley, kale, roses, and scarlet runner beans (there was more, but I didn't write things down).  Additionally, they used cold frames to extend the growing season.  

The folks in the 1820-1840s would keep carrots, celery and apples in cold cellars to eat during the fall and winter months.  They dried herbs like savory, thyme, and sage.   I asked about lavender, but there wasn't any hanging from the rafters when we were there.  I wish I'd asked about mint or hen-bane or other herbs; I guess we'll have to visit when there's produce growing.

The kitchen was dark; even with lots of windows, the dark timbers sucked up the light of the six or so candles in lanterns.  The volunteer who cooked said the thing he missed the most was a thermometer and that he had to learn how to cook by feeling how hot the inside of an oven was by how long he could hold his arm in it, or by how long a pinch of flour would brown in it, or by watching how water acted.  There were recipes and measurements by weight and by table-spoon, but there was a lot of taste-testing as one went along.
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