A Look at Ten Chimneys Foundation's Agricultural Program: The First Five Months

This summer, Alfred and Lynn’s estate has come to life, quite literally, with chickens comfortably settling into Ten Chimneys historic chicken coop and Alfred’s beloved vegetable garden taking root with flourishing produce.

The White Rock chicks we welcomed in March are thriving and beginning to lay eggs. While our flock remains small, the Lunts at one time included over two hundred birds, which they raised for their eggs and meat.  Ben Perkins, longtime farm manager on the estate, would have the capons canned and would mail them, along with other farm produce, to Alfred and Lynn while they were away from Genesee Depot.

Alfred and Ben Perkins corresponded weekly, sometimes daily, regarding the activities taking place on the farm. In 1946 Ben wrote to Alfred, “Dear Mr. Lunt, it is a beautiful day in Genesee.  The sun is shining and the chickens are singing.” The same rings true today.

Up the hill from the chickens lies Alfred’s vegetable garden. Alfred took great pride in his garden. He once said, “After I finish working in the garden, I’m quite content to sit and stare at it. Crazy, isn’t it? ... I like doing physical things, and I like a clean weedless garden. Then I sit and watch it for hours. I suppose I enjoy it because it’s a kind of showing off, like acting.” Ten Chimneys Foundation has enjoyed rehabilitating the garden and while it’s not grown to its full capacity and ready to “show off” in quite the same way Alfred did, we’re thrilled with the transformation that has begun and the produce that we have grown.

Last week, we donated cucumbers to the House of Peace in Milwaukee. The House of Peace has been serving those in the heart of Milwaukee’s Central City since 1968. For more information, visit: www.houseofpeacemilwaukee.org. Ten Chimneys Foundation will continue to donate produce from Alfred’s garden to organizations in our community.

The new sights, sounds, and smells on the estate allow us all to experience what life might have been like when the Lunts were in residence on this gentleman’s farm. To be a part of our Agricultural Program, please contact Erika Laabs at (262) 968-4161 ext. 204 or elaabs@tenchimneys.org.






What is Ten Chimneys?

Ten Chimneys, the estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, is open to the public as a world-class house museum with a progressive mission to serve the arts.

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PO Box 225, Genesee Depot 53127
S43 W31575 Depot Road
Genesee Depot, WI 53127

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