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[graphic header] The Amana Colonies: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary of a unique historic communal society in eastern Iowa

[graphic] Drying House
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Drying House
Photograph by Shannon Bell

The Drying House in Homestead was used to dry fruits and vegetables. The people of the Amana Colonies had small gardens adjacent to their homes, where they could plant what they chose. Each kitchen house had a kitchen garden space assigned to it. In the drying house, beans and fruit were placed on racks to be dried by the heat from a small oven in the room. Cabbage, rhubarb, lettuce, and beans were among the items that women planted in the gardens. Raspberries, currants, and gooseberries also grew in

[historic photo]
Historic photograph of women working in a community garden, c.1900
Photograph from "The Amana Colonies," printed by the Amana Society in 1974

the small gardens on the interiors of residential blocks and the berries were used in the communal kitchens. Apple, cherry, plum, and peach trees were commonly found surrounding kitchen houses, other communal dwellings, and in orchards at the village fringe.

Drying House, 4119 V Street, Homestead. The drying house is located next to the Homestead Meat Shop but is not open to the public.


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