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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada
Extracts of Matters of Historical Interest from "The Huissier, News For and About the Fortress of Louisbourg Heritage Presentation Staff" By The Fortress of Louisbourg Heritage Presentation Staff
(July 12, 2002)
By Ken Donovan
we all know...
According to Ken Donovan, staff historian, during the 18th century the soil found within the walls of the Fortress was often of poor quality. The French took a number of measures to improve the fertility of their potager gardens, the functional raised bed vegetable and herb gardens common at the time.
Records reveal that surplus soil generated by the construction of the glacis was a common source of good soil. The Mira area was another common source, although soil could have come from many nearby sources easily accessible to the myriad ships, barges (yes, we had barges), carts, and wheel barrows that would have brought back richer peaty soil to the town's inhabitants. Fertilizer and lime were also regularly added as organic and mineral supplements. Evidence also exists which supports the existence of hotbeds in the 18th century, a process of preparing a bed of soil which was heated by fermenting manure.