When was the last time you visited Shaker Village? There’s A LOT happening around here. And we aren’t just talking about the new baby animals that have arrived at The Farm this spring (though they are pretty darn cute). Back in October, we told you about our exciting PRESERVATION@WORK project on Centre Family Dwelling and the Meeting House. We’ve been hard at work since then and things are really coming along.
Last year, Shaker Village undertook its largest preservation project since the 1960s. The preservation and rehabilitation of the Meeting House and Centre Family Dwelling will extend the lives of these two buildings, while preparing them for new interpretive experiences.
One of the most noticeable accomplishments has been the installation of the remaining window components after repairs. Many windows are still boarded up because of the additional exterior work that has to be done, but it’s nice to have windows going back in.
Before and After Window Repair
We continue working on the installation of siding on the Meeting House. The crew is focusing on the rear (south) wall and will be working on the west wall starting next week. Additionally, there is structural repair work being done to the attic floor level beam, but the crew anticipates completing the repair during the coming week.
Otherwise, plumbers, electricians and duct installers continue to place piping, electrical conduit and ductwork in both buildings. And as temperatures hopefully moderate in coming weeks, we will begin working on masonry.
Before and After Beam Repair
So, what’s next? We’re going to keep at it. We hope you’ll come by for a visit and see this history in the making. Look for the Meeting House to open this summer, with the Centre Family following later in the year.
Read more about the history of these buildings here.
We want you to be a part of this village@work project. Come see what’s happening! While you’re here, join us for a Hard Hat Tour. Explore the historical and architectural significance of the buildings, project priorities and how you can become a part of this important preservation effort. Tours available daily. Check the schedule for times and locations.
William Updike is the vice president for natural and cultural resource management…
As winters sits behind us (thank goodness!) and spring begins to show its face, it’s time to start thinking about the garden. Each year, as the weather tries to make up its mind, we are given plenty of opportunities to start the planning process for the garden. Here are some tips we consider each year at this time that you can put to use in your own garden:
- Start with the basics. Deciding what to grow is always the easiest place to begin. Consider what is most important to your diet and needs. Don’t forget to include your neighbors because each year a garden usually produces more than one family can handle. Gardening allows us to connect to our community through the food we grow.
- Prep the soil. As we’ve seen this year, these late winter months usually bring iffy weather, so watch for the dry days and get that soil tilled and ready for those seedlings to be tucked in!
- Mulch, mulch, mulch! You’d be surprised how far a little mulch will go to protect your plants, especially in an uncertain temperature fluctuation (we call that Kentucky). This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. As a matter of fact, most resources needed for your garden are usually readily available in your own yard. We use leaf mulch. It adds a blanket to our soil, helping insulate and protect sprouts as they reach up from the dirt toward the sun. Not to mention, it’s free!
- Get things in early. Just because we are still shivering, doesn’t mean our plants are. A lot of the things we grow are adapted to these uncertain cold snaps. For instance, peas and carrots should always be planted as soon as the ground can be worked. They can handle more than you’d think.
Cole crops, or brassicas, such as cabbage, kales, broccoli and collards are extremely cold hearty, but why wait for sprouts in the garden when you could have them growing in your window waiting for warmer days? (They have to be coming soon, right?) Seed the rest—not all things like to be transplanted. Crops like lettuces, beets, radishes and turnips would all rather be directly seeded into our gardens. And don’t worry, they too are more cold hearty than given credit.
The view of The Trustees’ Table standing in the garden area. Music on the Lawn starts in May!
If gardening isn’t your thing, no worries—it’s ours and we invite you to come visit! Each year, we produce a high diversity of vegetables for The Trustees’ Table, where you’re served a seasonal and sustainable selection of vegetables from our farm to your fork. Visit The Farm any day of the week to see what’s sprouting (and even take a little taste), during our Spring Farm Tasting program where visitors sample seasonal selections from the greenhouse and garden, including our fresh herbs. Glean from the first flavors of spring while uncovering the Shaker practice of spiritual cultivation through preparing the fields for planting. Stop by and talk to us while you’re here. We’d love to hear about your own gardening practices. Then, make a reservation at The Trustees’ Table to see what our chef has created from our bounty.
Mike Moore, Assistant Farm Manager
Don’t be fooled by the weather–spring is here! The calendar says March 20 is the very first day of spring, but if you judge springtime by the appearance of wildflowers and fresh green growth, spring actually started way back in late February.
Virginia Bluebell Buds
Wildflowers began blooming on The Preserve a couple weeks ahead of their usual schedule, and the occasional snowstorms have done little to slow them down. Our earliest blooming wildflowers, despite their small and delicate appearance, are tough and well-adapted to cold weather. Look closely and you’ll find them waiting in the woods for you!
Join us on April 7 for Walking in Wildflowers. During this Discovery Trek, enjoy a guided walk along the Kentucky River Palisades to view spring ephemeral wildflowers in bloom. You’ll see some of the ones above and even more!
Laura Baird, Assistant Preserve Manager
With just a few warm days around the Village, we’re quickly getting excited for spring. Spring means baby animals, goodies from the garden and fun, outdoor activities on The Preserve. Incorporating fresh garden ingredients into the menu goes farther than just the food. As often as possible, we try to use ingredients from the property in recipes for food and drinks served out of The Trustees’ Table and in onsite catering services. Here’s one recipe that you’ll find on our menu this spring:
Slowing Thyme Cocktail Recipe
- 1.5 oz. Hendrick’s gin
- .75 oz. St. Germaine liqueur
- .5 oz. classic simple syrup
- .75 oz. lime juice
- 3 cucumber slices
- 2 thyme sprigs
Muddle one thyme sprig with simple syrup and two cucumber slices.
Add to the rest of the ingredients and shake.
Serve in a highball or Collins glass.
Garnish with thyme and cucumber.
Music on the Lawn starts in May, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to enjoy the patio and garden views. Grab a drink and a place by the firepit anytime of the year!
A.J. Gaidzik, The Trustees’ Table
Still hunting for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Enter to win two tickets to a Fresh Food Adventure at Shaker Village!
Growing up in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Chef Bruce Ucán was exposed early on to the flavors and techniques of his family’s Mayan cooking. He came to the U.S. in 1987 where he cooked in several local restaurants in Louisville, Ky. Entrepreneurial in nature, Chef Ucán always wanted to own his own business and create his own food. In 1996, he started a food truck business, the Gypsy Van, that sold tacos, salbutes and tamales at farmer’s markets, construction sites and festivals. Just a year later, he opened a restaurant on East Market Street called the Mayan Gypsy, which he later transformed into the The Mayan Cafe, his current endeavor. There, he fuses traditional Mayan recipes and flavors with local, seasonal ingredients. He grew up eating the fruits and vegetables grown around him and is committed to sharing this philosophy for food with his customers.
Chef Ucán is taking over the Trustees’ Office on March 10! Join us as we celebrate the flavors and techniques of Mayan cooking. The event is also featuring Copper & Kings brandy. Limited tickets are available here.
Giveaway has ended.
Giveaway valued at $200. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on February 19, 2018.