Staff members of SCCF’s Native Landscapes and Garden Center visited the Sanibel Historical Village recently to visit village farmer Michael DiCorpo and view the results of their partnership.
DiCorpo said the native garden center has donated plants, such as tomatoes and herbs, for the village’s “truck garden.” The garden represents the fact that early Sanibel pioneers were farmers, and most had gardens to serve their own needs. Bailey’s General Store hardly carried any produce in its early days because everyone grew their own.
“The garden center’s automatic watering system that sprays seedlings was vital to the propagation of seeds we’re growing from our own museum store,” DiCorpo said.
There is one special tree, a small lemon tree, donated to the village by the native garden center. The tree is an offspring of the last citrus tree remaining on the property at the Bailey Homestead. Since the parent tree has since died, the tree at the village garden is the last remaining remnant of the Bailey citrus plants.
“Our work with the Sanibel Historical Village is in keeping with our mission, and it offers us a chance to help from a new perspective: the truck gardens that were kept by the pioneers of Sanibel,” said Jenny Evans, Manager of the Native Landscapes and Garden Center. “We’ve established a wonderful partnership with the historical village and will work together again.”
The village garden is growing, among other things, tomatoes, watermelons, cauliflower, kale, eggplant, herbs, beans, onions, radishes, cabbage, peppers, mustard greens, and okra.
The Native Landscapes and Garden Center encourages gardeners to plant and preserve native plants to support wildlife, remove invasive plants that could spread to wild lands, protect water bodies from polluted runoff and avoid the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, conserve drinking was supplies by avoiding the use of irrigation systems, and protect and encourage wildlife in their own backyards.
The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS). Admission is $10 for adults over 18; those under 18 and members are free. Docent-guided tours are available at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at no extra charge, based upon docent availability. There is handicap access to all buildings. For information, call 472-4648 during business hours or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.