Agriculture played important roles in the life and finances of the Enfield Shaker community. Possibly, the most important agricultural industry was the garden seed business. The Shakers cultivated and gathered vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, sorted the seeds in small paper envelopes, and sold them. While the Shakers were not the first seed merchants in America, they were the first to sell packaged seeds in small amounts for retail sale.
The Enfield, New Hampshire, Shakers were also known for the production of patent medicines from herbs grown or foraged in the Village.
To keep the Enfield agricultural spirit alive, the Museum has three distinct garden-based programs. For more information, please visit the following pages:
Double Orange Daylilies!
We have too many!
Through the kind “co-operation” of the Co-op Food Stores in Hanover and Lebanon, the Enfield Shaker Museum is giving away Double Orange Daylilies from our garden in May!
If you have found your way to this page you may have already picked up some bulbs. The daylily you are planting is one of many which have flourished in the Museum Garden. It has a double orange flower (2 rows of petals). If you keep it happy, it will reward you by multiplying year after year. The biggest bonus of this daylily is that some of its descendants will have gorgeous white and green variegated leaves. This seems to occur in about 10% of the offspring here at the Museum.
Daylilies are originally from Asia. They came with colonists to the “New World” by colonists and by the early 1800s were common here. Daylilies are generally not too picky as to their soil, though they don’t like sand. They will thrive with little care and can be used in many ways. Flowers, young shoots, rhizomes, and floral stamen are all edible, and a quick Internet search will yield many interesting recipes. This plant has also been used in various herbal remedies in both Western and Asian medicinal traditions. Most of all, they lend a cheery smile to their surroundings and ask very little in return!