Economy Archive

  • Subsistence farming is the practice of families producing most of the necessities of life from their own land and labor. Until well into the 20th century, most mountain farmers raised animals for food, grew vegetable gardens and orchards, and gathered from surrounding woodlands to provide what they needed for food, shelter and clothing. . .

    Subsistence Farming

    Subsistence farming is the practice of families producing most of the necessities of life from their own land and labor. Until well into the 20th century, most mountain farmers raised animals for food, grew vegetable gardens and orchards, and gathered from surrounding woodlands to provide what they needed for food, shelter and clothing. . .

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  • Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought with them their preference and talent for making whiskey. Indian corn proved an acceptable grain substitute for Old World barley, and carrying whiskey to market on horseback over rough mountain roads was easier and more cost-effective than hauling bulky grain in wagons. . .

    Moonshine

    Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought with them their preference and talent for making whiskey. Indian corn proved an acceptable grain substitute for Old World barley, and carrying whiskey to market on horseback over rough mountain roads was easier and more cost-effective than hauling bulky grain in wagons. . .

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  • Sorghum, or molasses as it is sometimes called, was along with honey, a main sweetener in the mountains. Sorghum cane was brought to America from Africa in the 19th century. Most communities had a sorghum mill. . .

    Sorghum

    Sorghum, or molasses as it is sometimes called, was along with honey, a main sweetener in the mountains. Sorghum cane was brought to America from Africa in the 19th century. Most communities had a sorghum mill. . .

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  • Heirloom fruits and vegetables are those that have been preserved in families and communities over long periods of time. They different from modern varieties in two ways. They are open-pollinated rather than hybridized. That is, the same plant will be grown from seed each season, which is not the case with hybrid varieties. . .

    Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables

    Heirloom fruits and vegetables are those that have been preserved in families and communities over long periods of time. They different from modern varieties in two ways. They are open-pollinated rather than hybridized. That is, the same plant will be grown from seed each season, which is not the case with hybrid varieties. . .

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  • The pleasurable activity of “ sanging” or digging ginseng was also one of the most profitable for frontier families. The hardwood forests of Appalachia were the ideal environment for this hardy perennial. Through most of the 19th century tons of ginseng were shipped annually to Asia where it was highly valued for its medicinal properties. . .

    Ginseng

    The pleasurable activity of “ sanging” or digging ginseng was also one of the most profitable for frontier families. The hardwood forests of Appalachia were the ideal environment for this hardy perennial. Through most of the 19th century tons of ginseng were shipped annually to Asia where it was highly valued for its medicinal properties. . .

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  • Fruit has long been an important staple of the Appalachian diet.  Early pioneers found wild crabapples, black cherries, plums, persimmons, paw paws, as well as peaches that had been introduced in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. . .

    Fruit Orchards

    Fruit has long been an important staple of the Appalachian diet. Early pioneers found wild crabapples, black cherries, plums, persimmons, paw paws, as well as peaches that had been introduced in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. . .

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  • Fish farming is a rapidly growing and profitable industry nationwide as demands grows for fish and other aquatic foods. In recent decades fish farming has grown in many Appalachian states including North Carolina. Spring-fed mountain springs provide an ideal environment for production of trout, both native and non-native. . .

    Fish Farming

    Fish farming is a rapidly growing and profitable industry nationwide as demands grows for fish and other aquatic foods. In recent decades fish farming has grown in many Appalachian states including North Carolina. Spring-fed mountain springs provide an ideal environment for production of trout, both native and non-native. . .

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  • Until the late 19th century Appalachian agriculture relied heavily on the traditional English practice of common rights to unenclosed law. Individuals had a right to hunt, fish, and graze their livestock on unfenced land regardless of ownership. . .

    Fence Laws

    Until the late 19th century Appalachian agriculture relied heavily on the traditional English practice of common rights to unenclosed law. Individuals had a right to hunt, fish, and graze their livestock on unfenced land regardless of ownership. . .

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  • After the Second World War, mountain farmers, looking for crops to revive a declining farm economy, began to market trees from natural stands in nearby towns. Mountain terrain was no handicap for hardy evergreen trees. By the 1950s managed stands of Fraser fir and balsam firs had become America’s most popular trees at Christmas. . .

    Christmas Trees

    After the Second World War, mountain farmers, looking for crops to revive a declining farm economy, began to market trees from natural stands in nearby towns. Mountain terrain was no handicap for hardy evergreen trees. By the 1950s managed stands of Fraser fir and balsam firs had become America’s most popular trees at Christmas. . .

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  • For over 100 years burley tobacco has been an important cash crop in western North Carolina as well as in […]

    Burley Tobacco

    For over 100 years burley tobacco has been an important cash crop in western North Carolina as well as in […]

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  • The long hunters were the legendary woodsmen of the 17th and 18th century who were among the first white people to see the vast American wilderness. The term refers to the men who undertook extended hunting trips across the Blue Ridge.

    Long Hunters

    The long hunters were the legendary woodsmen of the 17th and 18th century who were among the first white people to see the vast American wilderness. The term refers to the men who undertook extended hunting trips across the Blue Ridge.

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