National Colonial Farm

National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park, Spring 2012

The National Colonial Farm is a historic farm museum established by the Accokeek Foundation in 1958. The farm demonstrates 18th century agriculture by preserving rare breed of animals and crops. Structures located within the farm site are open to the public and include a circa 1770 farm dwelling, an 18th century tobacco barn, and an out-kitchen.

The kitchen garden features 18th century varieties of herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Historic varieties of field crops such as “Orinoco” tobacco, “Virginia Gourdseed” corn are grown and cultivated for seed. The National Colonial Farm is a recognized leader in the field of historic plant preservation.

Museum Garden

Maintained with the help of volunteers, the Museum Garden is an educational space filled with modern and heirloom herbs, flowers, and vegetables. This quiet gated garden on Cedar Lane is used as an interpretive space for the varying growing techniques and foodways from Europe, Africa, and North and South America. The garden’s multiple beds demonstrate various planting and growing methods, from raised beds and trellised vines to a space that mimics the natural flow of a forest. Its hundreds of plant varieties allow visitors to explore the ways in which humans have used plants for food, medicine, textile dyes, and more. And the butterflies, songbirds, and other creatures that are attracted to this space demonstrate how a garden can act as a miniature ecosystem.