The Working Landscape

Even the earliest travelers noted the promise in the land at Saratoga. The broad, fertile plain, bound by mountains, promised bountiful fruits to those willing to work the landscape. Saratoga’s rural character is defined in part by the past and present farms and farmers that make up this community. 
On May 2, 1955, the Saratogian reported that Schuylerville Residents to Get Data on Colonial Agriculture 
Schuylerville — The problems that confronted the people of Schuylerville 200 years ago when they raised food for themselves and their stock, will be presented in a program on Colonial Agriculture to be given tomorrow at 8 pm. at the Schuylerville Central School. 

Raymond Nelson is program chairman for the Old Saratoga Historical Association, which is presenting the program. T. Kenneth Bullard, one of Schuylerville’s leading present day agriculturists will discuss how the early settlers of this community solved the problems of farming in this area before the Revolutionary War. 

The association is doing its utmost to aid the community, but full support of the people is needed if the efforts of the association are to prove successful, Nelson said. The programs are being offered to make residents more aware of their great heritage in Schuylerville, Nelson said. 
Farms and farmland remain cornerstones of our community, linking the past to the future through a landscape of fields and pastures, stone walls and weathered barns shaped by generations of hard-working farm families. This landscape, cherished by so many, is often taken for granted. Some of its benefits are obvious-the joy of seeing the foals in the fields in the spring, bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer and fall months; and milk and dairy products year-round. 
Other benefits are less obvious-the local revenue and jobs farms provide, the recreational and tourism opportunities they create, the wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits they offer. Some benefits are easily quantified; many are not. The benefit that may be most valued by Saratoga residents is the ephemeral “quality of life” that farms help to provide. 
Photo Credit: A late summer sunrise along Route 338 Road in the Town of Saratoga. August, 2015

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