The Bethabara Gardens are beautiful, historically significant places to explore. When the Moravians settled Bethabara in the early 1750s, one of the first things they established were the gardens. The “Kitchen Garden,” now called the Community Garden, was established in 1759 and worked by everyone to produce food for the community. Bethabara’s Community Garden is the only known, well-documented colonial community garden in the United States.
The Medicinal Garden contained plants that were used to treat stomach aches, headaches, and, most commonly, intestinal worms, which were significant ailments to both people and livestock in the 18th century. The Pollinator Garden (link to jump to that spot on the page) was not planted by the Moravians, but this new garden preserves their tradition and values of respecting and understanding of the balance of nature.
The Medicinal Garden
In October of 1756, Doctor Kalberlahn laid out the Medicinal Garden. His garden was the first European Medicinal Garden ever planted in America, and it remains intact today thanks to meticulous archaeology and research using historic illustrations and maps, and the work of dedicated volunteers led by Volunteer Coordinator Harriet McCarthy. Want to help? Contact Medicinal Garden Volunteer Coordinators, Max and Clara (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to the Volunteer Email List.
The Community Garden
In the 18th century, the Moravians at Bethabara were a community-based society. They cultivated crops together in their communal “Kitchen Garden,” and cooked and ate meals together in their “choirs,” or groups organized by age, sex, and marital status. Today, the Community Garden is worked by over 20 individual gardeners who are preserving the tradition of communal gardening. Are you interested in joining the Community Garden for an affordable annual fee of $30? Contact Interim Executive Director, Diana Overbey at email@example.com.
The Pollinator Garden
In the 18th century, pollinator populations (birds, bees, butterflies, moths, bats, etc.) were sustainable. Today, populations are drastically declining, and intervention is needed to keep them from disappearing. Although it’s not a historical garden, the Pollinator Garden preserves the spirit of the Moravians relationship with their environment by creating a new garden landscape that helps revive the population and health of indispensable pollinators. In 2018, the pollinator garden was expanded in honor of the late Dick Ayscue, a Community Gardener of over 20 years, a Chairman of the Board, a mentor, and friend.