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Wretched go backgo upgo to next Sharecropping

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick contain poor farmland. There are a couple of exceptions in the Annapolis Valley and around the Saint John river area, but most of the soil is acidic and rocky. As pasture land, it might be workable, but as intensive farmland it's simply not fertile enough to repay the effort of clearing the stones and tilling the ground.

Most of the black farmers had come from plantations and small farms in the deep south. The crops kept there were tobacco and cotton, and the style of agriculture was very intensive: narrow rows, in rich soil that had been cleared many years ago. Massive amounts of labour were required to keep away weeds.

Atlantic Canada was completely unsuitable for this sort of agriculture, particularly in the marginal lands where blacks were always settled. The soil was poor and difficult to clear, the climate was much colder, and the growing season much shorter. The crops they were accustomed to wouldn't grow at all. Many blacks were so poor they couldn't afford seed to start their crops.

Most of the farming that did occur was sharecropping; a black family working on a small piece of land growing staple foods like potatoes.

Wretched go backgo upgo to next Sharecropping
Image of a Black Man Lifting a rock - Image Credit Tina Elliot
Lacking tools and farm animals, black farmers had to clear land with their bare hands.

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