Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where are barns built? Secrets of the land ...

The history of farming in Connecticut is a story about settlers looking for the best farmland - not surprising that they moved first to the flats along the Connecticut River. The rocky hills east and west were slower to be cleared and farmed, but water power was there for small mills and industry.

Land around Windsor that is famous for Connecticut Valley shade tobacco

And an abandoned barn in Ledyard where subsistence farming has nearly disappeared.

CT ECO, a web site from the University of Connecticut and CT DEP, has valuable resources to learn about the land - all kinds of maps that you can view online or download - soils, open space, farmland, watersheds, the list goes on. There are user-friendly FAQs and tutorials to help you figure it out.

Compare the maps of farmland soils - green and yellow indicate the best soils for farming!

Windsor Locks - here's the farmland soil map with the Connecticut River at the right and Bradley Airport (guess what color it would have been before all that paving).

Here's part of Ledyard, a land of rocky hills and narrow stream valleys - Connecticut River at the left

Check it out - enjoy!

Photography: T. Levine, C. Hitchcock