What did we grow in 1905?

When looking at the PALMM archive online, which houses many old Florida related documents, I found the 1905 Florida Census book – http://books.google.com/books?id=HJxAAAAAYAAJ.

One of the most interesting tables in the book listed the value of each of the crops grown in Dade County, which in 1905 included all of what today is Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties. Not surprisingly, tomatoes topped the dollar value, followed by pineapple. That really echoes what was grown in Boynton too, where farmers raised tomatoes along the shores of Lake Worth in the rich muck soil. Pineapples thrived a bit further inland in the sandy soils along the pine ridge. The numbers then drop off rapidly so that the third highest cash crop was eggplant, which was one of the few vegetables that could be grown in the heat of summer. The one acre of sugar cane stands in stark contrast to today, where over 400,000 acres is in sugar cane. Somebody also tried peaches, but that did not look too successful with only two bushels valued at $5.00. South Florida is still the nation’s top winter vegetable producer, and our growers are getting the fields ready for the fall planting out in the Glades to put fresh produce on our tables through the cold winter months.

Crops grown in Dade County, 1905

Crops grown in Dade County, 1905

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