A ride in the past

Des Moines, IA, aug 5 , 2013

Riding a bicycle allows to travel not only geographically, but also in the time. Our Lafayette Hudson river valley ride focused on the Independence War, and our present rides in Iowa give us ample time to study the evolution of agriculture in this part of the US denominated ” the corn belt”. Yesterday we visited an historical farm ” living history farm” in Urbandale near Des Moines, IA, that tells the amazing story of how the Iowans transformed the fertile prairies of the Midwest into the most productive farmland in the world. How emigrants from northern Europe toiled and sweated with oxen and horses in the 1850’s to first sustain their families, then sell their diversified production, then started mechanized agriculture after the Civil war, then specialized in corn and soybeans, then became with highly sophisticated techniques the first producer and exporter of these crops in the world. The historical farm is actually more than a farm, with its barn,living hogs, horses and cattle, but it also displays a whole Middle West village in the 1860’s, with , as usual here in the US, volunteers dressed in the outfits of the time, welcoming the tourists and ready to answer all questions.Close your eyes, take a deep breath and visit Iowa in the 19th century!
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