Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Bountiful Tomato Season

Tomatos are plentiful this season thanks to long, hot days and drenching late summer rain storms. One local gardner recently plucked her first yield of heirloom tomatos off the vine and said they were the most tastiest tomatos she ever ate. We hear that a lot! Thanks to Landis Valley Museum's Heirloom Seed Project, many gardners from around the world grow succulent and healthy heirloom varieties.

The Heirloom Seed Project

The Heirloom Seed Project at Landis Valley Museum has been a forerunner to the seed preservation movement for the past 25-years. Started in 1985 with only a handful of seed varieties, the Heirloom Seed Project now preserves over 200 varieties that have historical significance to Pennsylvania Germans from 1750 to 1940.

Just as important to preservation is education of individucals and groups of the significance of seed conservation. Volunteers are essential to the success of our project. Weekly volunteers come year round to work in the gardens, process the seeds and fill catalog orders. Youth volunteers join us during their summer vacations. Young or seasoned, there is always a place for a committed individual with the Heirloom Seed Project.

Environmentally Conscious Program

We primarily use organic pest management techniques in our gardens, fields and orchards. Located within idyllic acres of Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, the Heirloom Seed Project volunteers tend to the many gardens that grace the grounds of the museum, including two renowned historic raised bed gardens that illustrate gardens from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Over 100 acres of grounds give visitors the opportunity to experience living history at its best. Fields of flax, horses and plows, heritage breeds of cows and chickens and the smell of dinner cooking over an open fire from our tavern fireplace are only a small part of each visitor's experience.

Heirloom or open pollinated varieties produce plants true to their parents from generation to generation. Our open-pollinated varieties produce seeds that can be saved from your gardens year after year.

2011 Seed Varieties List
Will be available in January 2011 and can be mailed to you at your request. Please contact Beth at (717) 569-0401, ext. 204. Our varieties and their descriptions along with an order blank that you can print out, are readily available online at:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Landis Valley Featured at the Barnstormers

On a recent balmy Saturday night, volunteers from the Landis Valley Associates and employees of the Museum spent the evening at a Lancaster Barmstormers game. Although the Barnstormers lost 3-1 to the Somerset Patriots, we met lots of great people and, hopefully, future LVA members!

Landis Valley was one of 11 local historical institutions featured during the park's History Night on Aug. 21. The first 1,000 fans received a bobble head of the 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan. And actors portraying President Buchanan, his niece and family threw out the first pitch.

From our table, located on the third base line in the stadium's main concourse, we handed out brochures, membership information and a calendar of the museum's upcoming events. There were quite a few people who approached us to express their love for Landis Valley. One such admirer asked, "Is this the place where they make apple butter during a fall festival." Yep! That would be Harvest Days. And it's just around the corner...