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Great Meadow Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord

ISBN-10: 0300123698
ISBN-13: 9780300123692
Edition: 2007
Authors: Brian Donahue
List price: $25.00
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Description: The farmers of colonial New England have been widely accused of farming extensively, neglecting manure, wearing out their land, and moving on. But did they? And if so, when and why? Brian Donahue offers an innovative, accessible, and authoritative  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 6/12/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.254
Language: English

The farmers of colonial New England have been widely accused of farming extensively, neglecting manure, wearing out their land, and moving on. But did they? And if so, when and why? Brian Donahue offers an innovative, accessible, and authoritative history of the early farming practices of Concord, Massachusetts, and challenges the long-standing notion that colonial husbandry degraded the land. In fact, he argues, the Concord community of farmers achieved a remarkably successful and sustainable system of local productionDonahue describes in precise detail—using among other tools an innovative historical geographical information system (GIS) method—how land was settled and how mixed husbandry was developed in Concord. By reconstructing several farm neighborhoods and following them through many generations, he reveals the care with which farmers managed the land, soil, and water. He concludes that ecological degradation came to Concord only later, when nineteenth-century economic and social forces undercut the environmental balance that earlier colonial farmers had nurtured.

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