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Friday Favorite: Relics

April 4th, 2014

Back in Ohio, it was very common to unearth relics while working in the garden. It’s no different here in Maine. Last year I remember picking up dozens of things that were buried during the previous years of ownership. Just this week, the chickens dug up this yellow cup in a small patch of woods by the garage.
relics 1
The pigs also unearthed loads of goodies in their woodland area last summer.
relics 5
relics 4
relics 3
Then there are the bulldozer tracks up the garage.
relics 2
And every now and then I find a piece of trash that blows in from somewhere.
relics 6
These things all provide an interesting history of the people who have lived here before us.  No doubt many more things will be unearthed as I expand the gardens.  I wonder what I will find next.

Have you found interesting things in your garden?

17 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Relics”
  1. Sara on April 4, 2014 at 9:21 am

    We are in town, but an older development. We’ve found all sorts of stuff–bottles, spoons, toys, and most hilarious–one year while building a new garden bed we found the bell-housing of a model A ford! That was bizarre! :)

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  2. Misti on April 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

    If by relics you mean trash—yes! Ugh, dog toys, cigarettes, plastic, all sorts of crap. Just when we thought we had got it all on the side yard, we’d dig something else up. Oooh, my favorite find and more useful find were these very long rebar poles that were hiding under layers of grass. I also found a concrete pad after I went to trim up some grass…we cleared it off and have no idea what the pad was for. Someday we’ll jackhammer it up, but for now it holds wood for a future hugelkulture bed.

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  3. Nebraska Dave on April 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Susy, Oh boy where do I start with Terra Nova Gardens. It was derelict land that folks in the neighborhood threw unwanted items. I have found a microwave, a piston from a small engine, doll parts, parts from a battery, of course, beer cans, whiskey bottles, a concrete truck clean out the size of a pickup bed, twenty some worn out tires, soda fountain cups, chunks of concrete, and enough plastic bags to supply the city and other assorted items. I’m still pulling up chunks of cable from some thing. This land was once the bottom of the Missouri river before the Corps of Engineers decided to redirect the river for flood control. It’s why the top soil is so rich and is about two feet deep. Nothing has been grown on this property except weeds and trees since the river was moved probably about 90 years ago. It has indeed been a challenge to bring this land under cultivation.

    Have a great relic discovery time in the garden.

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  4. kristin @ going country on April 4, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Oh yeah, junk everywhere. I use the term “junk” advisedly. My dad wants to bring a metal detector here to see if he could find some cool old coins or something, but I think he’s much more likely to just find a lot of rusty nails and bits of farm machinery.

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  5. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on April 4, 2014 at 9:52 am

    My house was built in the 40’s. When we moved in the late 80’s we did a lot of digging. Among a lot of other items, I unearthed a toy car and dozens of marbles. Years and years later the original owners son stopped by to tell us if liked what we had done with the place and I asked him about the car and marbles. They were his as a boy. He acutally teared up when I showed him. I gave them to him but asked to keep one marble as a keepsake. I still have it.

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  6. DebbieB on April 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    When my in-laws retired and moved out west, we bought the family home from them. This was a new subdivision when they moved here originally, the house had just been built. So when we dig in the garden, we find things that were buried by my husband and his siblings – mostly broken pieces of toys. We found a marble the other day, and he was elated… Because, you know, he lost his marbles long ago. ;)

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  7. sarah on April 4, 2014 at 9:54 am

    You seem to have a better attitude about it than I do. I have 1/8 of an acre in the city and I find all kinds of things. Trash blows in from everywhere, it drives me crazy. I do find a lot of marbles, which is cool. I have a jar where I’ve saved a lot of little toys and trinkets I’ve dug up. Otherwise there have been a lot of broken glass, pull tabs from old beer cans, unidentifiable plastic pieces, random wire, and the bane of my gardening existence: green plastic easter “grass”

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  8. Songbirdtiff on April 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    When my grandfather was digging his garden years ago, he found jewelry and tons of marbles. We had a whole playing set of marbles by the time he was done. :)

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  9. Joan on April 4, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Lots of sharp pieces of glass in my garden… I’m not sure why. Unfortunately it means that I seldom feel brave enough to garden in my bare feet!

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  10. whit on April 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

    That yellow cup is cool! A gardener/farmer can always use another scooper for something, eh?

    We do find a lot more trash than at our old home. This home is from the 1940’s, but the land was occupied in the 20’s. Out here in the country, people burned their trash , then buried it. We find pieces of china, glass, rusty tools, canning lids from long ago. In the greenhouse houses we tend to find spectacles in the corner of each bed (?) and lots of plastic tags and pens with the old owner’s nursery business info.

    Being on a country road to one of the redneck strongholds in Western WA, we get fools driving down the road, dumping their beer cans and coffee cups. We pick up our side of the road and the neighbours ditches twice a month in the good weather. Other neighbours help pick up the entire length of the street at Easter and in Sept. I don’t know how i am going to get at the 3 2×4’s I found in the ditch this year.

    I am hoping to find something neat someday. But I have a feeling it will just be chips or metal pieces, as this land was part of a larger diary and we only have the five acres surrounding the house.

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  11. amy on April 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Our place is a couple hundred years old…..and suffered through a tornado sometime in the 60’s according to the locals. I started finding things when I started digging holes to plant….and digging up our veg patch….and through the years the weather has eroded more to the surface…..I have found arrowheads….broken pottery of all sorts….lovely old china bits with names and dates….old glass…jewelry…sections of pillars….farm and animal equipments…parts of old dolls and on and on….I eventually turned most of these things into a large mosaic in our bathroom. It is like a treasure hunt. Every spring I can be found peering down at the ground not only looking for bursts of new life but also for bits of history of those who lived here long before me.

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  12. judym on April 4, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Since our property was formerly a field, we are finding mostly things left behind by our children. We’ve found matchbox cars, little green army men, and legos, Now we find items that are being left behind by our grandchildren – matchbox cars, legos, no army men but little magnet balls/rods. Not much has changed, just a little updating.

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  13. Kurstin Hpwton on April 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    We have found tons of stuff on our land! It’s like we are treasure hunting every time we dig or walk the woods. First of all, we discovered an old homestead in the woods. Here we found dozens of antique pans, Pyrex dishes, and Kerr,Ball, and Mason canning jars. Many of the canning jars contained their own little self sustaining ecosystems of moss and different little plants. Also, we found the remnants of an old wagon. The axle and wheels were all still in place, but the wood had rotted away. Along with the relics of the past, we also found an abundance of beautifully overgrown buttercup pathways, iris, spiraea, and forsythia. Other than that, we are constantly finding old nails, tools, and railroad stakes in our yard. I love finding things lost in the past!

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  14. MN.Reid on April 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I have dug up lots of marbles. Old beer cans, and tools have come up while digging up a garden where an old shed was once erected. The cabin where the property is is over 100 years old.

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  15. daisy on April 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    What fun! It’s like a treasure hunt and the chickens are in on it! Our property used to be an orange grove. Haven’t found anything interesting, but the new owners may end up finding dh’s wedding ring somewhere!

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  16. Jill on April 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Our acreage was an old yardsite–there were a couple vehicles from the 50s, along with the old, fallen-in house (my son called it “the Witch House”). We have found tires, homemade tools, barbed wire, sheep fence wire, boots, dozens of insulators off power lines (previous owner was a lineman). I’m no longer enthused to find new treasures. We did find a marble while planting trees, which the kids loved. My son found a bone-handled jackknife, which he promptly buried somewhere incase the people who lived here before (over 40 years ago) came back looking for it. It is not ours to keep, you see!

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  17. Jenn on April 5, 2014 at 3:35 am

    We find tiny glass bottles everywhere – all different designs some broken some not. We cant think why. Our old house just a few villages away had tiny bottles there too. We also find lots of broken crockery. Its an unspoken rule in our house that when you find a fragment of an old plate, etc, you have to pretend to be an archeologist and start a debate on whether it is ‘ancient Byzantine’, ‘a Grecian urn’ or ‘Ming Dynasty’.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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