We have been working on this project for over three years. This educational Garden is now an official “interpretive site” on the National Historic Trail of Tears (issued by the National Park Service). The mission of the Cherokee Garden is to highlight and preserve the culturally significant plants used by the Cherokee prior to the Trail of Tear in 1838. The Cherokee used over 700 plants for medicine, food, crafts, weapons and ceremonial uses.
The Cherokee Heritage Vegetable Garden has just been planted with White Eagle Corn, Trail of Tear Beans, Long Greasy Beans, Georgia Candy Roaster Squash, Bucket Gourds and Dipper Gourds. Thankfully we were able to access the the Cherokee Nation’s Seed Exchange for the actual heirloom seeds. Give the vegetable garden another month and it will look more like a real garden.
Some of the medicinal plants that are featured are Mapleleaf Viburnum (used for fever and smallpox) and Foam Flower (used as a diuretic).
This project was dependent upon the hardworking Master Gardeners who work tirelessly for over two years on building the perennial beds, rescuing plants, removing invasive wisteria and privet, weeding and mulching.