One of our first chores when we moved into our colonial home was to establish a garden plot. Ironically, this old farmhouse sat in the middle of a large landscaped lawn with a few ancient apple trees. Perhaps the former owners were merely following the trend of the ‘american lawn’ movement. Haven’t you ever wondered as you drove through city suburbs why the houses are plunked on perfectly green patches as the air becomes clouded by the spewed petrol fumes of lawnmowers and leaf blowers?
Thankfully the artist Fritz Haeg embarked on a project, Edible Estates, to convert front lawns into vegetable gardens, so more people can live off the land. Some citizens groups fight this movement, for garden plots and natural landscaping are deemed “untidy.”
We staked out our garden plot and for the first winter covered the area with the cast-off cardboard moving boxes to kill the grass. The following spring, we began to dig up the beds, yielding hundreds of rocks but workable soil.
I hoped for at least one arrowhead find, for I knew that a Mohican tribe once occupied all of this land. Last night, the Sheffield Historical Society sponsored a talk by our local naturalist, Rene Wendell, on Native Americans in South County. Indeed, the Mohicans did occupy hundreds of acres of land and their artifacts have been found in many farm fields. Wendell mentioned that anyone living in a 1700s home most likely would find more arrowheads, due to the fact that the frontier settlers would have chosen already cleared land. I will keep on searching!