Westmoreland Davis managed all parts of Morven Park's operations, from its prized bulls to its green beans, with incredible care. In the early 1930s, he expanded the estate's gardens and began growing sweet corn, squash, beets, beans, onions, and more. He also planted apple, pear, apricot, plum, and peach orchards. Davis insisted the farm use its own products wherever possible, and reminded house staff that "the garden is filled with green vegetables which we wish prepared and served as they ripen."
Davis sold fruits and vegetables from the estate to employees, and the workers also had their own plots near their homes. Together, the family harvested, washed, chopped, cooked, and canned the summer's produce to last through the winter.
What's in Season Now?
For farm families here at Morven Park, the ability to grow their own food was a major draw of country living. Today, most of us do not depend on our own gardens for fresh produce. One thing remains the same: eating fresh fruits and vegetables in season is the best way to get nutritious, flavorful food into your diet.
"Spring is here—and we feel the urge to go out in the garden and dig in the dirt. Don't hold back when you feel that urge. Indulge it, encourage it, stimulate it, if it is slow in coming to life.
are any sort of gardener at all it will probably save you money. It will certain give you better meals than you otherwise would have, and it will supply, at minimum cost, protective foods of which most families do not use enough.
A good garden will produce enough vegetables for storing and canning, as well as make it possible for the family to have enough vegetables to serve twice daily."
—From a well-worn clipping of an article in Westmoreland Davis's collection
Family in the garden, 1939 Courtesy of the Library of Congress