The farmstead at Riverbend Park is home to a sawmill, sugarcane press, and now a garden. The farmstead garden is a recent project between park staff Michael Sylvester, Dane Rypma, Cretzer Barthelus and Kyle Krakow and Palm Beach County Extension, Arthur Kirstein. The plants were donated by PBC Extension and park staff planted them and continues upkeep of the garden. Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, Swiss Chard lettuce and eggplant are currently in the garden.
The garden is designed to represent a late 19th century to early 20th century garden that a family would have for subsistence. The plants were typically grown in “hills” – soil brought up around the base of the plants – which made weeding and watering easier and more efficient. In addition to this, there is an heirloom variety of cane on the farm. The earlier cane was a chewing cane. Cane like this had to be crushed, strained, boiled and rendered down and could be made into a number of different products and sold.
The farmstead interprets a period that runs from the latter 1800’s to the 1930’s. Certain areas on the property were cleared for the growing of citrus. The area became known for the quality of the oranges that came out of it. Later, cattle were a focus. (ie: Cowpen’s Lake.)