By Marc Linder
Not anyone this present day thinks of Brooklyn, long island, as an agricultural heart. but Kings County loved over centuries of farming prosperity. Even as past due as 1880 it used to be one of many nation's best vegetable manufacturers, moment in simple terms to neighboring Queens County.In Of Cabbages and Kings County, Marc Linder and Lawrence Zacharias reconstruct the historical past of a misplaced agricultural group. Their examine makes a speciality of rural Kings County, the location of Brooklyn's great enlargement throughout the latter a part of the 19th century. specifically, they query no matter if sprawl used to be an important situation of yankee industrialization: may the rural base that preceded and surrounded town have survived the onrush of residential genuine property hypothesis with just a little foresight and public guidelines that the politically outnumbered farmers couldn't have secured on their own?The first a part of the e-book stories the county's Dutch American agricultural culture, particularly its conversion after 1850 from huge farming (e.g., wheat, corn) to extensive farming of industry backyard vegetation. The authors research the transforming into pageant among neighborhood farmers and their southern opposite numbers for a percentage of the massive ny urban marketplace, evaluating farming stipulations and elements reminiscent of hard work and transportation.In the second one a part of the booklet, the authors flip their awareness to the forces that at last destroyed Kings County's farming—ranging from the political and ideological pressures to modernize the city's rural atmosphere to unplanned, market-driven makes an attempt to facilitate transportation for extra prosperous urban dwellers to leisure shops on Coney Island and, as soon as transportation was once at hand, to switch farms with residential housing for the city's congested population.Drawing on an unlimited diversity of archival assets, the authors refocus the historical past of Brooklyn to discover what used to be misplaced with the enlargement of the town. For this day, as city planners, ecologists, and agricultural builders reevaluate city sprawl and the necessity for greenbelts or agricultural-urban stability, the misplaced possibilities of the previous loom higher.
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Extra info for Of Cabbages and Kings County: Agriculture and the Formation of Modern Brooklyn
Alternatively,the discrepancy between census data and Henderson’s reports may in large part be explaine by the fact that Henderson was literally referringto a single acre, whereas the census figures are averages basedon total acreage, someor most of which may not have been plantedto vegetables (but rather to hay for the draft animals) or any crop at all. Inclusion of the other acres obviously lowers pe acre yields as well as per acre expenditures. This alternative explanati is supported by other contemporaneous accountsof typical expenses, which reported that vegetable farmers spent $72 to $150 per acre on manure.
Burnet Landreth, Market Gardening and Farm Notes, 1892 A statistical overview of the whole sweep of Kings County agriculture for as long as census data have been collected - from 1820 to 1992 - is presented in tables ia and ib. Table ia shows that the number of farms, though fluctuating, began and ended the second half of the nineteenth century at almost exactly the same level - about 360. Why the number rose during the 1850s and early 1860s,fell sharply in the latter part of the 1860s, and then increased again in the 1870s, though not to the peak achieved in 1860, is not wholly clear.
Because hay productionwas much more profitablethan livestock, “the farmer could afford to buy stable manure, street sweepings, lime and ashes fromthe city to apply to his land. ”13 Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt, writing of Flatbush in 1880,also noted that when the canals and railroads had made grain cultivation less remunerative on Long Island, the enlarged demand for market gardenproduce “by de grees changedthe whole characterof the farm workon this island. Flatbus farmers, beingso near to the city, beganto raise those vegetables which to supply the markets of New York and Brooklyn.