Bidwell’s Garden Journal 1853


It’s April 1st, time to start planting your vegetable garden, just like Bidwell did back in the day.  In 1853 Bidwell recorded a Garden Journal in the back of his store ledger. Here’s what was happening day by day in the garden at Rancho Chico in April 1853:

Fri 1:  Sowed Beets
Sat 2:  ditto  ditto
Mon 4:  Planted Irish Potatoes
Tues 5:  Hoed Peas and Grapevines
Wed 6:  Made Beds (vegetable beds, that is)
Thurs 7:  Transplanted Lettuce
Fri 8:  Made Beds
Sat. 9:  Hoed out Seed Onions
Mon 11:  Planted Watermelons
Planted Corn
Tues 12:  Transplanted Cabbages
Plowed and made 2 Beds
Sowed Cabbage & Cauliflower Seed
Wind from the South

Keep in mind that Bidwell was not doing all this work himself. He had a number of men and women working for him: Americans, Mexicans, and Indians. In addition to these vegetables, he was growing grains and livestock. I wish we had more of his journals from the 1850s!

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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