In Episode 34 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, co-hosts Zaheer Ali and Julie Golia discuss Brooklyn’s long farming history, and the complex interplay of power, land, and labor in Kings County.
For complete show notes, go to brooklynhistory.org/flatbush-main.
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Segment 1: Histories and Ideas
In this segment, Zaheer and Julie discuss a surprising topic: how farms persisted in Kings County well into the 20th century. The look at the essential role that slavery played in Brooklyn’s farming economy before emancipation in 1827. And they consider the impact of new transportation technologies on land use in Kings County.
To learn more about Brooklyn’s agricultural origins, check out our digital exhibition An American Family Grows in Brooklyn: Tee Lefferts Family Papers.
For an in-depth look Brooklyn’s market farms in the early 20th century, check out the book Of Cabbages and Kings County: Agriculture and the Formation of Modern Brooklyn.
Segment 2: Into the Archives
To bring agricultural Brooklyn to life, Julie and Zaheer look at photographs and documents from the Lefferts family papers at Brooklyn Historical Society.
Photo of a Dutch farm house, circa 1890
Photo of a Brooklyn farm, circa 1880
Photo of James Lefferts, circa 1900s
On the Vanderveer Farm, circa 1920