Family Garden Club

Family Garden Club logo

Want to know more about food gets on your plate? Want to explore Living History Farms in a new way? Looking for a place where your family can get their hands dirty and learn about growing vegetables and flowers, but don’t have the space? Then our Family Garden Club is for you!

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.


Program Schedule


The Family Garden Club will meet in the mornings (9:30 – 11:30am) once a month from March through October.

In general, the schedule will be as follows for each individual program. Please arrive on time so the program may begin on time.

9:30am – Check in; travel to historic farm or town site
9:45am – Activity at historic site
10:15am – Travel to Exhibit Center
10:30am – Work in your garden plot, activities at Exhibit Center
11:15am – Depart


Program Fees

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.

wheelbarrow in front of 1900 garden


Registration Info

Registration Dates

Registration begins February 8, 2017 at 9:00am. Registration is now closed.

Requirements to attend this program

Please review our Family Garden Club Policies before you register for this program.


Garden Club Activities

Saturday, March 18: Planning your garden

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 together, and which plants should never be paired. Talk about the pros and cons of planting heirloom vegetables vs. today’s hybrids. Learn about seed starting times and start seeds for your own garden patch at Living History Farms. Then plant an indoor herb garden and a window sill onion garden to take home.

Saturday, April 8: Starting Seeds and Garden Prep

Start more seeds for your garden patch, then take a tour of the garden and learn about soil testing. Find out how to create a trellis from the materials in your yard and learn about transplanting crops.

Saturday, May 13: Planting time!

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.

Saturday, June 3, 1:30-3pm: Weed Control, Then & Now

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!). Check the progress of your crops and harvest any early vegetables, then get your hands dirty as you weed and maintain your garden.

Saturday, July 8: Pollinators & 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. You’ll also learn about pests; from the destruction they cause to methods to repel them. Visit your garden plots for maintenance, composting, and making repellents from household materials to keep pests out.

Saturday, August 12: Early Harvest

It’s time for early harvest! Visit the 1700 Ioway Farm or 1850 Pioneer Farm to see how they preserved food without modern day equipment and give it a try yourself. Visit your garden plots for maintenance, composting, and an early harvest.

Saturday, September 9: Harvest & Preservation

Visit the 1900 Horse-Powered Farm where you’ll learn about the types of crops in their field, garden, and orchard. Help with harvesting fruits and vegetables and learn how people preserved food in 1900. Go back to your garden plots to finish harvest. Then you’ll begin the process of winterizing your garden by creating a solar composter to be used in October.

Saturday, October 14: Gardening Indoors Through the Winter

It’s time to put your outside garden bed to rest for the winter. But the gardening does not have stop! Learn 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 ocean voyage to America in the 18th century.