A Statement of Purpose

Since 2012 I have been responsible for
the garden at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum on Antietam National Battlefield. The Pry House garden began as a 19th century style medicinal and kitchen garden, including medicinal plants, herbs, and vegetables. As close as possible, these plants mirrored those available to the Pry Family in the 1860s, meaning heirloom varieties. Since then, the garden has transformed to focus exclusively on medicinal plants, becoming an exhibit of the flora that was employed by military and civilian caregivers in the Civil War Era.

I am strictly an amateur, with no real experience in growing a garden. The purpose of this blog is to document my experiences as I learn by doing. It is anything but authoritative and I welcome any comments and advice for a greenhorn. Please be kind!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Boy Scouts Lend a Hand

This past weekend, we had Boy Scout Troop 279 of Point of Rocks, MD camping in the barn at the Pry Farm. They were joined by members of Troop 277 of Brunswick, MD. Troop 279 is was my home during my time as a boy scout, where I earned my Eagle Rank in 2006.

During their stay, the scouts helped me to get some work done in the garden, getting it ready for the coming spring.The boys did great work in removing lots of dead matter from the beds and sprucing up the garden paths.

We also got up on a ladder to replace the twine on the hop trellis. Unfortunately no one got a picture of that comical operation.

The scouts also took some round plastic trash cans and converted them into new compost bins for the garden. The work mostly consisted in drilling a series of holes in the cans to promote air ventilation for the compost in progress. I have been dabbling in compost before, but I think that these new bins will be a more work able system. I will talk more on that in a future post.

This is not the first time that Troop 279 has been camping at the Pry House to do volunteer work for the museum. The troop has been coming to the house for years, even before the museum was opened in 2005. Their first service project was helping to clean out decades of dirt and broken-down animal manure from the bottom of the Pry Barn. If only I had all of that dirt for the garden!

You can see me here as a boy scout, wearing my Civil War reenacting uniform. I had no idea then that I would some day work at the Pry House as it's director of programming and official gardener!


  1. Great job Troop 279! Is that Tom Wheatley in both group photographs?

  2. Hmm, what happened to my earlier comment? In any case, great job Kyle and thanks once again for a wonderful weekend!