Monday, August 23, 2010
Farming In Colonial Times From 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.
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.