Delaware: the Foodshed

Ed Kee described Delaware as the “foodshed” for the eastern United States, mostly due to the fact that 1/3 of the U.S. population is within an 8-hour drive, which I find fascinating. Delaware has about 2,500 farms covering 510,000 acres. About 41% of Delaware land is farm! This state has a long history of farming. Native Americans took advantage of the rich soil and grew corn, beans, and squash and Delaware has not been without farming since. Colonial settlers brought wheat, barley, and livestock to the fertile lands and from there, farming has only expanded. Canning factories were built and now fruits and vegetables could be preserved and eaten year round. Growing, shipping, canning, delivery, and selling of the produce was very labor intensive and required many many workers. Advances in science and technology allowed for greater yields per acre of land, but farmers still face challenges in remaining profitable. Farmers must comply with regulations to protect the environment and minimize their negative impact. The biggest challenge in the future is going to be feeding the growing population, which is up to our generation to find sustainable methods to feed a hungry planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *