The historically authentic crops in the heritage garden in front of Fort Vancouver even attract historically authentic pollinators.
None of your imported European honey bees for these heirloom foods and flowers — the bumblebees that spend their lives buzzing around this half-acre plot are indigenous to the area, said Nancy Funk, volunteer garden manager.
The treats that keep them local are “95 percent accurate to what Dr. McLoughlin was planting and growing,” Funk said on a recent morning while working the garden with a gaggle of volunteers. Chief Factor John McLoughlin ran Fort Vancouver from 1825 to 1845.
If you want to try growing the same heirloom vegetables or fruits at home, or just learn about the garden and admire its historical riches, your opportunity is coming right up.
An anniversary party, honoring the 103rd birthday of the National Park Service, is set for 5 p.m. Saturday at the garden. You’ll be able to take guided garden tours and purchase harvested heirloom seeds.