As most of my readers know, I love a good garden dig. I enthusiastically indulge in this summer activity. Besides digging in Mother Earth and growing vegetables to eat, I also uncover treasures from the past. Let me explain this. When I first started vegetable gardening I would come across clam shells and wonder about them. I figured out that they were good for the soil and learned that years ago that’s what New Englanders did. After a seafood bake it was a tradition for gardeners to dump the clam shells in the soil for the Calcium benefits as well as warding off fungi.
Soon after, I found a cow tooth while digging up weeds. It took a little bit of cleaning and questioning, but it was definitely that. There was a cow farm there years ago, so that would make sense.
My first year gardening at our house, I discovered a glassy knob to a bureau, probably dating back to the 1940’s or 1950’s. The archeologist in me came alive. Where did this come from? Why did someone bury it in the yard? My husband enlightened me on this, that years ago people buried their trash and broken belongings. Sometimes old tractors or pieces of furniture would be buried. Therefore a unique treasure trove lies beneath my plot of plants!
My intense interest in ancestry is similar to my love for discovering artifacts from the past. ( the ancestry piece will surface on another post sometime) Each item that becomes unearthed holds a story. As I dig them up, I question , What time period does it hail from? Who owned it? It’s like a time capsule buried away for me to find decades later.
Just yesterday my husband and his friend started digging to start his garage. While working the tractor and coping with 80 degree heat, Tom and Mike found many pieces from the past. A fifty gallon drum ( all rusty and flattened), an old tire from the 40’s or 50’s, a rubber milker tube, pieces of twisted and rusty metal,a chain with a sharp hook on it and glass shards surfaced. A barn sat a few yards away long ago and Tom surmises it either burned down or was torn down. In the process all the junk items were buried, turning the yard into a makeshift landfill.
These are some of the milk bottles I’ve found in the bottle dump in the woods.
A couple of years ago Tom and I went on a hike locally, when we came across an old bottle dump. Old mik bottles of various sizes lay askew in the dirt, discarded long ago. Tin cans, bean kettles, old wine bottles all were treasures lying in this site in the New England woods. If you discover such a place, my suggestion is to bring gloves, as sometimes the glass is chipped or broken. Bring a duster or something to clean off the dirt and something to hold your treasures. You never know what items you will find there.It’s a fascinating hobby to find old items from long ago and sometimes you can clean them up and add to your antique collection.
If you keep a garden or excavate a new site, you may discover pieces from the past. These artifacts are a bridge to another time. They are a valid piece of history, worth investigating. Have you found items digging in your garden?
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️