Mowing Service in Richmond, VA
Richmond, Virginia is a stunning area. Its hills and vales are green, with plants and flowers native to the area growing in splashes of color. The plants proliferate of themselves without human interference.
It's not unusual for visitors to the city to find interspersed among Virginia chain fern the white mountain laurel and the lavender Eastern shooting star. What were Richmond's history and its plants in the beginning?
Richmond, Virginia was a difficult area to settle in the beginning because some native Indians weren't happy with European settlers. However, treaties signed in the 1640s between the Indians and settlers meant that the city was founded on the Falls of the James River would thrive. One of the areas in which it thrived was agriculture.
Homeowners cutting their grass on weekends rarely envision the stealthy Indian treading over the same grass hunting for dinner. When homeowners hire Lawn Love to manicure their lawn, they tend not to think of the horticulturally gifted men of the 1600s working their nearby land. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson primarily worked with plants, both native and non-native, to breed new and better types of foods.
Today's strawberry is as hearty and flavorful as it is due to these men's strides in developing wild strawberries. Tobacco wasn't the only thing grown in early Richmond, though Washington and Jefferson worked until they bred a heartier, more flavorful leaf. The large nut peanut was born in Virginia as well as other garden vegetables and fruits.
European settlers saw native Indians raising tobacco and began to grow it themselves. There quickly sprang up a competition to see who grew the best tobacco. A strain of sweet tobacco was obtained from the Caribbean, thus giving growers of the harsher strain of tobacco common to the area a run for their money.
Bad years forced the colonists to find other means of making a living. Virginia had always been agricultural in nature, so colonists turned to raising grains like wheat, oats, and corn when their tobacco crop failed, or it was a bad year. The colonists traded their crops for items they needed like shoes, clothes, farm equipment, guns, pots and pans, and household items.
Richmond Of The 1700s
It's a good thing present-day Richmond homeowners use Lawn Love to manicure their yards. The homeowners of the original colony only had sheep, cattle, and horses to keep their grass cropped. However, the grass of another earlier era met German, Irish, French, and other immigrants.
These brought with them farming techniques and different types of foods from the Old Country. As the 17th century segued into the 18th, the citizens of the first colony all grew the same things: cotton, hemp, flax, corn, oats, and wheat.
To this day, Richmond is famous for its tobacco (with several tobacco companies headquartered along the James River,) hay, cotton, wheat, barley, and peanuts. Immigrants also grew corn and rice and still do today. Each immigrant family introduced to the area farming techniques as well as cooking techniques and recipes still used today. One rather famous example is Virginia's barbecue sauce, which has to be tasted to be believed.
War Comes To Richmond
Richmond homeowners cutting grass today won't think of the soldier's feet that tramped through the woods and swamps of its beginning years. While soldiers marched across the mosses and lichens of an earlier Richmond, it was the water that made up the most crucial part of the war years. The fledgling United States Navy ships were built and sailed from Virginia ports, most notably Norfolk.
During the war years, Virginia planters sent their crops to Richmond for shipment to Europe. Remember that in the beginning, roads were not feasible due to abundant swamps and hilly, rocky, heavily wooded land. People lived on the water and traveled by boat. When the ports were blockaded, everyone including the planters prayed that the blockade runners in swift ships could sneak past the blockade to get the crops out. Everyone needed the money, books, and other items shipped into the New World.
During the Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, Richmond was almost choked to death due to its strategic importance. However, each time someone arrived to protect the city (think Robert E. Lee in the Civil War, just as his father, Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, did in the War of 1812).
Richmond is situated between the low, rolling hills of the Piedmont section and the low, flat tidewater section of the state at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Running around and through the city are the James, Appomattox, and Chickahominy Rivers. This geography makes Richmond mild in winter and hot and humid in summer. Winter temperatures sink no lower than mid-30s Fahrenheit.
The mountains on one side of Richmond block significant weather patterns from the Midwest and Canada from coming over the mountains. The water on the other side blocks patterns swirling from the Atlantic into the jet stream and hovering over the city. This generally means good weather for growing crops year-round.
The crops of today's Virginia farmers are no longer sailed downriver to Richmond for shipping. Today's produce and meat products are trucked by refrigerated units to points across the country. Today's cash crops from the over 50,000 farms on almost 30 million acres include soybeans, apples, corn, hay for the horses, peanuts, and potatoes, among others.
The generations of Americans we've been reading about, if they came back today, would see that the grass of present-day homes is still the vibrant green it was in past years. They would be happy to see Lawn Love keeping Richmond's vivid green lawns beautifully trimmed. Lawn Love works hard to give Richmond homeowners a genuinely healthy lawn and make sure it remains that way. Contact us today!