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posted: 8/22/2013 4:17 PM

Tour the heirloom gardens at Garfield Farm Museum

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  • Chuck Bauer shows visitors an oxen demonstration at the 2012 Heirloom Garden Show at Garfield Farm Museum. This year's event will be Sunday, Aug. 25.

      Chuck Bauer shows visitors an oxen demonstration at the 2012 Heirloom Garden Show at Garfield Farm Museum. This year's event will be Sunday, Aug. 25.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer, August 2012


Submitted by Garfield Farm Museum

Garfield Farm Museum's 24th annual Heirloom Garden Show will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at Garfield Farm Museum, on Garfield Road in Campton Hills. The show is $6 for adults and $3 for children younger than 13. Call (630) 584-8485 or email

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During the show, visitors can tour the museum's heirloom gardens and interact with Midwestern growers showing off their favorite heirloom flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Many of these heirloom fruits and vegetables have unique tastes, cooking traits, appearances, and disease or insect resistance that may not be found in the more common grocery store varieties.

The Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit organization that has connected plant enthusiasts from around the world, receives a portion of the proceeds from the show. This year, exhibitors from Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa will be bringing a variety of heirlooms. As always, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes will be well represented.

Visitors, young and old, can also delight in the museum's own historic gardens. The heirloom flower garden houses many old-time favorites, such as "Love Lies Bleeding" or "Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate," that hark back to simpler times. Hollyhocks, often remembered by those who grew up in the country, bloom in various corners of the barnyard.

The heirloom vegetable garden is made up of varieties that the Garfields themselves may have grown, including rare pre-blight potatoes. The garden offers children a chance to see where the food they eat originates. The kitchen garden by the tavern contains herbs and spices, as well as some native flowers. Accounts of the time encouraged transplanting prairie flowers to the garden as they were already disappearing from the 1840s landscape.

Visitors can check out the various animals in the barnyard, admire the historic barns, and stroll through the restored prairie and savanna. There also will be tours of the 1846 brick tavern.

During the show, there will be some garden seed and plants for sale. Inglenook Pantry of Geneva will be offering refreshments, including homemade pie in the Atwell Burr House. For information, call (630) 584-8485 or email

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