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Michigan

Ancient Garden Beds

The principal crop of the Indians is maize, and this was never cultivated by them in rows, but in hills, often large but always disposed in a very irregular manner. As little do these beds resemble the deserted fields of modern agriculture. On the other hand, the resemblance of many of the plats to the well-laid out garden beds of our own day is very striking; while the curvilinear forms suggest analogies quite as strong to the modern "pleasure garden."
The nearest approach to anything resembling horticultural operations among Indian tribes, within the historic period, is noticed by Jones, who refers to a practice, among some of the southern Indians, of setting apart separate pieces of ground for each family. This author quotes from Capt. Ribault's discovery of Terra Florida," published in London, 1563. 1 hey labor and till the ground, sowing the fields with a grain called Mahis, whereof they make their meal, and in their gardens they plant beans, gourds, cucumbers, citrons, peas, and many other fruits and roots unknown to us. Their spades and mattocks are made of wood, so well and fitly as is possible."

Farming


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