Welcome to the 1780's Demonstration Kitchen Garden at the Van Wyck Homestead Museum

Our garden is a representation of a kitchen garden that the homestead would have had during the Revolutionary War period.

Uses: A kitchen garden served many purposes in that time period. As there were no cleaning supplies or medicine, women would make their own using herbs from the kitchen garden. Herbs were the predominate means of treating many ills, sanitizing the home, adding color to yarn, and flavoring food.

Garden Sign

There are some differences between our garden and an 18th century kitchen garden. An 18th century kitchen garden would have been completely surrounded by a fence to keep out farm animals. Our modern day pest is deer. We have filled the outer beds with deer “resistant” plants hoping they leave the rest of the garden alone. Our paths are twice the width that they would have been in 1780 to accommodate our visitors, but they are made from 19th century bricks from local brickyards, including Denning’s Point.

Take a stroll through our garden and click the button below to learn about some very unusual uses for many plants that you may think of as just ornamental in your garden! We hope that you enjoy our garden as much as I have enjoyed researching, designing, and bringing it to life for you.

Uses of plants indicated are for historical purposes only. Please check with your physician before you consume or use herbs and plants for any purpose.

Schematic Map of the Kitchen Garden

Garden Map 4-15-24

The Fishkill Historical Society Thanks Volunteers:
Judy Wolf - Historical Researcher & Master Gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Barbara Hobens - Hudson Highlands Garden Design
For their effort in the masterful design and installation of this Kitchen Garden