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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A History of Sugarland Industries - Part 7: Truck Farming

I recently reviewed a scrapbook containing new information about early business endeavors in the history of Imperial and Sugarland Industries.  Some of the items about truck farming were eye openers.  I'd known produce cultivation was a big part of early Sugar Land, but I didn't realize how big it was.  I've found other surprising enterprises, which I'll cover at a later date.

Much of the early truck farming was located in Brookside and the area eventually occupied by the Shopping Center.  I'm sure there were other locations, but that was the main one.  They seemed to have grown a variety of crops.  I've seen references to an agronomist, who performed serious tests of various crops to determine what would grow best in Sugar Land's soil and micro-climate.  

Of course, Marshall Canning set up a processing plant in Sugar Land in 1936, and it continued operating into the 1980s, I think.  Food crops were an important part of our local economy for many years.

Cabbages under cultivation in 1911 at Highway 90A & Brooks St., where the Shopping Center is located.

An add targeting potential celery farmers.

Financial record showing success of celery crop.
Strawberries are another promising crop. (Text missing.)
Prized strawberries.
Spinach. (Text missing.)

Undated of Captain Brooks (right), head of farming operations, and crew loading New Potatoes for shipment.
Plus Royal Walnut Trees to beautify the town. (Text missing.)