Need Assistance Identifying Plant DATES
Hello, I work in a museum who's main focus is between the years 1800 and 1865 (roughly). My latest assignment has had me searching the web for the dates where specific plants had been discovered, bred, or imported to America in order for us to know which ones we are able to plant. I am finding this task exceedingly difficult as all I can find is information on HOW to plant them. I have found a few on my own of course, but the following list contains the names of the dates I have NOT located as of yet. Any Assistance would be greatly appreciated.
French Horticultural Bean
Early Copenhagen Market Cabbage
Premium Late Flat Dutch Cabbage
Black Mexican Corn
Howling Mob Corn
Little Finger Baby Carrot
Danvers Half Long Carrot
Jenny Lind Musk Mellon
Rocky Ford Green Flash Musk Mellon
Delicious 51 Musk Melon
Hearts of Gold Musk Melons
Sweet 'N Early cantaloupe
Purple Top White Globe Turnips
Early Golden Summer Crook Neck Squash
Early Prolific Straightneck Squish-Squash
Acorn/Table Queen Squash
Waltham Butternut Squash
Dark Green Zucchini
Pardon me for not having any direct knowledge, but have you tried Monticello for their records of what Thomas Jefferson and his people planted, imported, and bred?
I'd also recommend the big old seed companies, some of which have been around since the 1800's.They might have historians or give you some access to their archives about what was planted when.
What about ships' manifests? Could they, would they, have information in sufficient detail about what crops were shipped along the coast?
Another long shot is old German owned plantations or farms. Germans have traditionally kept very detailed records. I've found it was a lot easier to research German ancestry than my other bloodlines.
What I would do is talk to the heirloom seed collectors. It's a popular hobby with many gardeners. Google" heirloom vegtables". I got some from White Velvet okra one time from a guy who's really knowledgeable on that. I didn't save a llink, but he's in Oregon and has a website - try googling "Victory Seed Company". If you can find where the heirlom enthusiast hang-out on the web, you'll get all the info you want.
The origin of plants is interesting. Okra, for example is native to Africa and came over here on the slave ships. The Swahili word for okra is "gumbo." Corn was selectively bred for centuries, from a grass weed, by native americans.
Well, we know they brought English Ivy and we also know we can't go back in time and blow up all the ships bringing that crap over here.