Colonial Farmers and Farmlife

By:Cara Gurlea


Have you ever wondered what farming in colonial times was like? Colonial farmers planted cash crops to get money. Plantation owners had multiple buildings on there land. Colonial farmers cleared there land for more room. Farmers did a lot of work on there farm's or plantation

Plating Crops

Farmers did a lot of planting on their farms. Maize (corn) was the most important crop to Native Americans. The Natives grew maize in small mounds in clearings muons trees. This land was chosen because it was easy to weed,plant,dig. Some cash crops were indigo,rice,cotton and tobacco. A typical colonial farms grew corn,barley,rye. Farmers got lots of money off of cash crops. There were high demands for tobacco because it was a cash crop.


Colonial farmers often used slaves to do work on the farm. Farmers bought slaves from auction to work on there farms. Some tools they used on a farm were scythes a tool with a long blade and a long handle. Sickles are tools with a hook shaped blade and a short handle these were used to cut grass. If you owned a cow you were considered rich because cows were rare at that time. Colonial farmers used plows to turn the soil to get ready to plant. Farmers had many useful tools to use around the farm


Farmers used wood to build with. Farmers built fences around there land. They built the fences in a zig-zag arrangement. Colonial farmers were experts in working with wood,clearing their land,building there own houses and cutting the shingles for their roofs. Many colonial farmers spent winters creating shingles to sell to city dwellers or to send to European markets. Farm families, and most other colonists well used wood for cooking and heating. Wood fires also smelted iron. There were many uses for wood.


Colonial farms played a big role in colonial history by producing food for the colonists. Farmers did a lot of planting cash crops but it was all worth it when they got the money. Colonial farmers built lots of buildings on there land. Wood was very handy for building on a farm. Sure farming today is cool but think back to colonial farming and doing everything by hand.


  1. Plows-A tool used to turn soil to get ready for planting crops.
  2. Sickles-A tool with a sharp blade and a small handle used for cutting grass.
  3. Scythes-A tool with a long blade and a long handle.
  4. Maize- Another word for corn.
  5. Dwellers-To live or stay as a permanent resident.


  • Books:
  • Colonial American Home Life John F. Warner (1993)
  • Life in the American colonies Ruth Dean and Melissa Thomson (1999)

  • Online:
  • Rundolph Wayne "European Farmers in a New world.