Category Archives: food

Vintage landscape: repurposed

Formal victory garden, ca. 1918, Library of Congress

World War I victory garden in a formal setting, location unknown,* ca. 1917 – ca. 1920, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The photo seems to have been taken for the National War Garden Commission, also known as the National Emergency Food Garden Commission.

The organization was created in early 1917 by Charles Lathrop Pack.  It sponsored a campaign of pamphlets, posters, and press releases aimed at “arous[ing] the patriots of America to the importance of putting all idle land to work, to teach them how to do it, and to educate them to conserve by canning and drying all food that they could not use while fresh.”

Like it or not, what you do with the land around your house tells the world what sort of citizen you are.

Abby Adams, The Gardener’s Gripe Book

*Harris & Ewing was located in Washington, D.C.

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Streifzug 7: Filderkraut festival

I’m sorry there was no Sunday porch yesterday. . .

8 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

I was at the 37th annual Filderkraut-Fest in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, a town near the Stuttgart airport.

There are very few weekends in the Stuttgart area without a local fest celebrating some aspect of the season.  Since the end of summer, we have celebrated the wine harvest, the potato harvest, the pumpkin harvest, and now that of the Filderkraut.

This very fine variety of cabbage has a distinctive pointy shape.*  It grows particularly well in the rich loess-loam of the Filder plateau, which surrounds the airport.

7 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

The fest was opened on Saturday by Mayor Roland Klenk, who tapped the first keg and, after about 40 taps, sprayed onlookers with beer.  “That’s not my core competency,” he reportedly said.

Tapping the first keg seems to be the German equivalent of throwing out the first ball in the U.S. — an honor fraught with peril for a politician.

9 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

This was not an easy year for cabbage growers, according to an article in the Stuttgarter Nachrichten.  It was too hot and dry, and the heads were smaller than usual.

10 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: “Kizele’s cabbage display.”

3 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

4 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: whole heads of fermented cabbages on the table.  Note her hat.

15 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ure

14 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: tubs of sauerkraut to take home.

22 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: a display of bread and cabbage.

23 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: the Rathaus or town hall of Echterdingen.

25 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: a cabbage shredding race on the stage.

20 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: a children’s activity booth in front of the town’s museum.

12 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: “Pretty cabbage heads.”

19 Cabbage Fest, enclos*ureAbove: my lunch, sauerkraut and potato dumplings (like gnocchi).

By the way, now is the time in Stuttgart to eat Zwiebelkuchen (bacon and onion flan) with Neuer Sußer or new wine — newly fermented grape juice.

Streifzug means ‘foray,’ ‘ brief survey,’ or ‘ramble.’

*I mentioned this fest to my mother, and she remembered that, back in Texas, my great-grandmother always told her that cabbages with pointed heads were the best. I don’t think I’d ever seen any until this August.

the moon moves over
the field of dark cabbage and an
exchange fills
all veins.

Jonathan Williams, from “Two Pastorals for Samuel Palmer at Shoreham, Kent”


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The Sunday porch: luncheon

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- cozy porch interior, ca. 1900, via Library of Congress“Man and woman eating at table on front porch of row house,” Washington, D.C., 1924, by National Photo Company, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I’m sure that this photo was taken to illustrate an advertisement for the maker of that tub of cottage cheese on the table.  (I can’t make out the name of the dairy company.)

You can click on the picture to enlarge it — then you can see that the couple are drinking their milk from wine glasses.

The location could have been in any of several northwest D.C. neighborhoods — so popular in the city was the Wardman-style of rowhouse by the 1920s.

ADDENDUM:  I found another photo of the same couple, here, having a picnic lunch in Rock Creek Park — again with plenty of cottage cheese.

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Vintage landscape: cabbage

Cabbage portrait, Mississippi Dept. of History and ArchivesCrystal Springs, Mississippi, between 1900 and 1950, via Luther Hamilton Photograph Collection, Mississippi Department of Archives and History Commons on flickr.

The almost 1,000 photos in this collection were taken or collected by the Luther Myles Hamiltons — Sr. and Jr. — during the first half of the 20th century.  They document life in and around the farm town of Crystal Springs.  

Luther Sr. was a portraitist, and his pictures of the babies, children, and women on this page are lovely.

Many of the farm fields in the suburbs of Stuttgart are blue with rows of cabbages right now.  I will try to get a photo before the harvest.

The stump of the newborn
dries in the crook of my arm.
I am the witch, cradling
the pale green head,
murmuring, “Little one,
you look good enough to eat.”

Lisel Mueller, from “Found in the Cabbage Patch

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Life in gardens: keeping bees (close)

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This lady — probably in Finland, ca. 1900 — must have been really devoted to her bee hives to keep them so close to her open windows.

The photo is via Gallen-Kallelan Museo Commons on flickr, photographer unknown.

To scroll through larger images, click on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.

Deare behold me, you shall see
Faith the Hive, and love the Bee,
Which doe bring.
Gaine and sting.

Lady Mary Wroth
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