© 2018 The Roughwood Table. All photos, unless noted, and recipes/text are ©  Roughwood Table.

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"Heirloom seeds are food awaiting to happen." William Woys Weaver

Roughwood began out of interest in the diverse world of plants, of family gardening, and the culture and human connection in each seed. We know food, good food, meaningful food, is for everyone. Knowledge about food should be as well, and that leads to our collective empowerment. As Roughwood has grown it has strengthened that commitment to explore our cultural heritage expressed through the garden, and expanded the area of interest to wherever the bonds have grown weak. Roughwood is ready to grow again and sow the values forever present in our work. It is our responsibility to care for these seeds and the stories that accompany them, to bring them to present use. It is our goal to support, cultivate, and publish as much work as possible in our system that remembers food is something to be eaten, not just written about. Through this action we can create a more interesting, diverse, meaningful, and delicious world.



The Property of Roughwood is its biggest advantage. For our goals, we require a place where people can come, see, do, learn. Where people can research and cook. Where we can build knowledge and pleasure through food. Through seeking grants, donation, fundraising, and loans we aim to restore the home to provide us with the tools necessary for our work. In the downstairs of the refurbished historic property will be a seed processing room and storage facility, a commercial kitchen, a dining room, and a parlor. Upstairs will be offices, meeting rooms, and space for visiting guests. Roughwood will be a place of meeting, collaboration, and conviviality for the local community and the larger community of those concerned about their food.

Roughwood Home and Gardens

The gardens, seen in the photo above and to the left, are where much of the seed growouts are conducts to maintain the seed collection. A total of 26 raised beds are utilized on crop rotation cycles to amend the soil and prevent pest and disease problems. Many beds annually will be filled with various herbs and vegetables, but heirloom flowers are also scattered among them, and even some perennials.

Roughwood Table


At Roughwood there has always been the implied tradition that food is culture, values, ethics, and politics. We will support the research and publication of work that illuminates and makes accessible the good that can come from food. The Table will be responsible for:

  • Testing and codifying historic and modern uses of Archive plants

  • Ethnographic and Cultural and Food History focused on

    • Regional Perspectives

    • Homelife

    • Local foodways and traditions, or with global tagental support

  • Examining Food’s Interconnectedness, such as that with

    • Farming

    • Food & Environment

    • Nutrition & Public Health

    • Food & Social Inclusion

    • Rural & Urban Development

    • Sustainability

    • Food & Public Policy

Thorburn's Lemon Blush Tomato

Thorburn's Lemon Blush Tomato was extinct for 107 years but was resurrected from the Roughwood Collection. We at Roughwood took this tomato, paired it with peaches, to create a Yellow Peach and Tomato Pie. Roughwood Table takes old heirlooms to new standards through not only education, but culinary value and merit. History meets healthy, homemade, flavorful food.

William Woys Weaver's Dutch Treats features delicious recipes from the Pennsylvania Dutch for cookies, breads, pies, and so much more! Books like this help showcase our interest in local foods but also broadens the range to even further reaches in and outside of the U.S.

Yellow Peach and Tomato Pie