Monday, August 23, 2010

Farming In Colonial Times From 1610-1775

This is interesting.  We have all heard about this sort of thing in history class, or did we?  Did you know that until 1860 the vast majority of Americans lived on a farm?  Read this quote from Conservapedia on early American Agriculture,
"Colonial farming: 1610 - 1775

Plantation agriculture, using black slaves, developed in Virginia and Maryland (where tobacco was grown), and South Carolina (where indigo and rice were grown. Cotton became a major plantation crop after 1800 in the "Black Belt," that is the region from North Carolina in an arc through Texas where the climate allowed for cotton cultivation.[1]

Most farms were subsistence, producing food for the family and some for trade and taxes."

What I want to focus on is the last statement.  Subsistence farms, is there a lesson for the modern homesteader in this?  I think there is, the first focus of a homesteader/small farmer should be to provide for the family with his own land, much like they did in colonial times.  It never made much sense to me, growing up in the "Dairy State" of Wisconsin, to see local dairy men buying their milk at the grocery store, then going home to milk the cows.  Seems illogical to me.  Early farmers farmed for their own first, then sold what was left.  I think too many of us, today, get that backwards.


sarah said...

ugh, amen!! I'm from Iowa, and my extended family farms. Soybeans, corn, and hogs. When I wanted to buy a hog, they were unable to give me one - they raise hogs that never actually belong to them. And, with the exception of a few foods from their gardens, they buy all of their food from the grocery store. I've never understood that. My own family lives in town, but are working on increasing the % of our own food we can provide ourselves, and are on the lookout for a homestead.

Scott or Pam said...

Sarah, you're on the right track. If you want good food, look for a homesteader or local farmer to buy from. Or, raise it yourself. If we can help in any way, let us know.