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“The garden sets the schedule,” notes

Chet Tomlinson of the trades department. “Sometimes the Miksch couple would be work- ing together, and sometimes not. We’re even studying composting methods used in that time that extended the growing season. But there’s also preserving, tobacco drying and preparation, baking, and preparing goods for the shop. The family did a lot of different things to make a liv- ing.” In fact, Miksch was also an early baker for Salem, before the arrival of the Winkler Bakery across the street from his house. “We are offering a hands-on experience

for anyone who tours the house and grounds at the Miksch,” explains Paula Locklair, vice president of education. “Matthew Miksch was a

by Bill Cissna

plantsman, and Sister Miksch was also actively involved in the business.” Outside and inside the house, visitors can touch and get involved in the activities appropriate for the time of year when they visit. The recognizable small yellow house on Main

Street has become a dynamic site for the inter- pretation of gardening, processing garden prod- ucts in the home, and running a diverse and complicated small business. To Matthew Miksch and his family, their house today would seem familiar indeed. To the 21st-century tourist, it may be a whole new world. m

Bill Cissna is a freelance writer and playwright. He lives in Kernersville, North Carolina.

The Miksch garden, seen from inside the reconstructed tobacco shed.

The Miksch House (right) and the reconstructed tobacco shed as seen from the garden behind the house.

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