Gardening is a simple pleasure that any family can enjoy, regardless of your experience!
Our Family Garden Club will provide you and your family with a chance to learn and work together as you grow a vegetable garden. Get your hands dirty as you learn about growing vegetables and explore the different gardens at Living History Farms.
The Family Garden Club will meet once a month from March through October. Each month will have a different theme, with activities, a guided visit to one of the museum’s historic gardens (when the museum is open May – October), and an extension activity for your family to do at home.
NOTE: Please be aware that with gardening, there is no guarantee of success! We’ll learn the basics of gardening, and have lots of fun, but there is never a guarantee that things will go or grow as planned.
The Family Garden Club will meet on Saturday afternoons (1:30-3:30pm)* once a month from March through October.
* All programs are 1:30-3:30pm except March 17, which will be 9:30-11:30am.
In general, the schedule will be as follows for each individual program. Please arrive on time so the program may begin on time. Subject to change as weather and garden conditions dictate.
1:30pm – Check in; travel to historic farm or town site
1:45pm – Activity at historic site
2:15pm – Travel to Exhibit Center
2:30pm – Activities at Exhibit Center
3:15pm – Depart
Members receive priority registration and a discount! Not a member yet? Purchase or renew your membership
Please review our Family Garden Club Policies before you register for this program.
Members receive a discount! Make sure your membership is up to date! Purchase or renew your membership
|Member Price||Non-member Price|
|Family Garden Club (8 programs)||$125 per family*||$150 per family*|
*For this program, a “family” is defined as including 2 adults and all children ages 18 and younger residing in the same household.
Program content is subject to change at the last minute depending on growing conditions, weather, and other unforeseen circumstances presented by Mother Nature!
With spring around the corner, it’s time to plan out your garden! Planning and starting a garden can be fun and easy. Learn about which plants thrive when planted together, and which plants should never be paired. What are the pros and cons of planting heirloom vegetables vs. today’s hybrids? How long does it take seeds to sprout? You’ll use the knowledge you gain to start seeds that take a long time to germinate that you will then use in your own garden patch at Living History Farms!
Start indoor gardening by planting an herb garden to take home and a window sill onion garden. Learn about transplanting crops and start seeds that only need a short time to germinate to use in your garden patch in May. Learn about soil tests and why it’s important. You’ll be introduced to different types of garden tools that you will be using, and how to use them safely.
Visit the 1700 Ioway Farm to learn what the Ioway Indians grew in the 1700s and help us plant the gardens at the farm. Then roll up your sleeves, put on your gloves, and get busy planting your own garden plot! Apply the knowledge you’ve learned about transplanting the seedlings, and plant seeds directly into the garden. Then you’ll put up some deterrents to help avoid pests.
Visit the flower garden at the 1875 Flynn Mansion and flower garden around the gazebo. Explore the Victorian “language of flowers,” and find out what pollinators do and how to attract them. Visit your garden plots for maintenance, composting, and re-planting as necessary.
Visit the 1850 Pioneer Farm to learn what Iowa’s early settlers were planting in their fields and gardens. You’ll compare weed control methods from 1850 to weed control today and get busy helping out in the farm’s garden. Next, you’ll visit your garden plots and learn about vermicomposting (think worms!). Learn how to attract good bugs to your garden while keeping pests away. Make some organic and environmentally safe deterrents to keep deer out of our garden. Check the progress of your crops and harvest any early vegetables, then get your hands dirty as you weed and maintain your garden.
It’s time for early harvest! Visit the 1900 Farm, and learn about the types of crops in the field, garden, and orchard. You’ll learn about the plants grown there and how to preserve food using historic methods. Help by harvesting fruits and vegetables and start the preservation process. Visit your garden plots for maintenance, composting, and early harvest.
Visit the 1700 Ioway Farm to help harvest and preserve corn, beans, and squash. Then visit your garden plots to harvest your produce. Learn how to winterize your garden and about how you can grow shallow root vegetables indoors all year. Build a simple terrarium that you can use inside, and learn how settlers from Europe kept plants alive on their water voyage from Europe to America in the 18th century.
Finish putting your garden bed to rest for the winter. Then celebrate a (hopefully!) very productive year. Enjoy snacks made from the items you grew in your garden!