History of Farming on Long Island

  • Geology and Geography

    • With fertile, well-drained soils, ample sunshine, abundant freshwater, and proximity to wholesale and retail markets, it is not surprising that Long Island is one of the most important agricultural regions in NY state. With over 100 different crops grown, Long Island growers and producers are proud to offer an agricultural diversity that few other areas in the state can match. Long Island farmers continue their commitment to providing abundant, high-quality products, such as; vegetables and potatoes, fruits, wine and grapes, poultry and livestock, nursery and floriculture products and shellfish, and seafood.

  • First People

    • Starting with the native peoples and continuing into the earliest days of Long Island’s European settlement, agriculture has been an important industry, providing vegetables and fruit, fiber, seafood, poultry, and a variety of agricultural products for the inhabitants. 

  • Historical Shifts

    • As the colony grew and gained independence, the farmers on Long Island had a prominent role in feeding the growing population. First by providing various crops, livestock, and fish and shellfish to feed to New York City and beyond. As transportation improved, commodity farming developed and Long Island duck, potato, and cauliflower were in great demand. Roses and cut flowers were grown on Long Island and brought to NYC by rail and boat for many years. Then as nursery growers moved east, trees, shrub, and plants were bred and sold up and down the east coast. And all the while, fisherman and oysterman farmed and harvested from the bays, ocean, and waters around this beautiful island. Then in the early ‘70s grapes came to Long Island and the region quickly grew into one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine regions in the country. After that, the craft beverage industry took hold and added another dimension to the farming community.

    • The farming community on Long Island is dynamic and innovative. These qualities and the support of the greater Long Island community will keep farming alive and growing into the future. 

 

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