Eatonville Roots: A ‘Soil Bank’ with 300+ years of Deposits”

Ella Dinkins has lived in Eatonville since 1931.  Gardening has always been a part of her life.  Even before her family came to Eatonville, her maternal grandmother grew celery for sale in Sanford;  and the children in the family had to help out with the crop.  Mrs. Dinkins enjoys seeing things growing and reaching their maturity.  In her garden, she cultivates flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables. Examples of flowers in her yard are:  azaleas, a varety of crotons, periwinkles, petunias, roses, a variety of ferns, and sunflowers.  Examples of her fruit trees are:  avocado, grapefruit, orange, persimmon, pear, and pineapple.  Vegetables she grows includ beets, carrots, cabbage. greens [collards, mustards, turnips], okra, potatoes, scallions, stringbeans, squash, and tomatoes.

Ella Dinkins has lived in Eatonville since 1931. Gardening has always been a part of her life. Even before her family came to Eatonville, her maternal grandmother grew celery for sale in Sanford; and the children in the family had to help out with the crop. Mrs. Dinkins enjoys seeing things growing and reaching their maturity. In her garden, she cultivates flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables. Examples of flowers in her yard are: azaleas, a varety of crotons, periwinkles, petunias, roses, a variety of ferns, and sunflowers. Examples of her fruit trees are: avocado, grapefruit, orange, persimmon, pear, and pineapple. Vegetables she grows includ beets, carrots, cabbage. greens [collards, mustards, turnips], okra, potatoes, scallions, stringbeans, squash, and tomatoes.

*Horticulture, agriculture, and gardening have played a part in virtually every year of the town’s [Eatonville’s] life. . . . Eatonville’s garden legacy can be authentically traced directly to Dr. Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, and a small rare group of local African American horticulturists. Documentation of the simple physical existence of an historic African American community is exceptionally difficult, at best. Documentation of the origins of the gardening philosophies, practices and techniques of an historic African American community is nothing short of miraculous. But this fact serves to expand interpretation of African American gardens beyond the simple stereotype of “folk garden” or “folk landscape.” . . . The gardening philosophies and techniques were formally taught in classes (vocational) in Eatonville at the Robert Hungerford Industrial School, and in practical home demonstrations with residents in the community. These lessons have been passed from one generation to the next for more than a century. Eatonville’s collective gardening wisdom is as deep and rich as any community in America. Eatonville’s gardening wisdom is now second nature. 

*Excerpted from Yards & Gardens Primer:  ZORA! Festival 2012 Edition, Everett L. Fly, Landscape Architect, FASLA; Architect, NCARB Certified, copyright 2012 Flypaper Productions TM; Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. 

Wednesday, January 30, 10:00AM – 2:00PM

Eatonville Roots: A ‘Soil Bank’ with 300+ years of Deposits”

Tour/Workshop/Demonstrations

Materials plus Lunch, $25.00. Limited seating.

Pre-registration required no later than January 23.

Session convenes at St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church

549 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville

Please call 407-647-3188 to purchase tickets for this event

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