Farming encompasses the life skills of most colonial Virginians
Farmers worked the land and generally grew cash crops of tobacco and wheat, as well as a variety of other food and fiber crops like corn, oats, cotton, flax, and hemp. They raised livestock, including beef, dairy and oxen cattle, horses, hogs, sheep, and poultry.
Today, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Farmers do the work of middling farmers using 18th-century methods at Great Hopes Plantation. Here they work heirloom-variety crops of corn, tobacco, wheat, and fiber crops. Powerful oxen haul manure and pull plows through the fields, while work horses cultivate the weeds from between the plants. Historic farmers also tend poultry and hogs—some of which are a part of Colonial Williamsburg’s Rare Breeds program.
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