cows + the city

Two loves collide: integrity agriculture and city planning. I was geeking out to the max while researching the history of local and raw milk in Virginia and its effect on the landscape for an amazing landscape architecture seminar called Landscapes We Eat. I found this gem about how my favorite animal determined the form of early American colonial cities:

“The need to milk the cow twice a day determined the location of churches; people had to be able to walk there and back without disruption to the schedules of cows…Important virtues are nurtured on the farm, including a graphic understanding of the relationship between working and eating.”

The predecessor of city planners in early designers in Jamestown, a colony that saw its bovine population grow from 100 in 1611 to 100,000 in 1665, had to take their beloved cows into account when they designed the layout of the city. I can imagine early settlers strategically placing pastures and barns aside churches and homes, in what can only be described as the earliest form of urban agriculture. Here’s my quick conception from my journal:

photo 1

One of my favorite cows: Triticale of Silky Cow Farm in North Garden, Virginia. She's an adorable six-year-old, 1,000-pound Jersey who happened to step on my foot at last year's Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello.

One of my favorite cows: Triticale of Silky Cow Farm in North Garden, Virginia. She’s an adorable six-year-old, 1,000-pound Jersey who happened to step on my foot at last year’s Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello.

And another: I stumbled upon this calf in the middle of Pennsylvania's Amish country.

And another: I stumbled upon this calf in the middle of Pennsylvania’s Amish country.

And, for good measure, a few Jane Jacobs quotes I found particularly inspirational this week:

photo 2

“Designing a dream city is easy. Rebuilding a living one takes imagination.”

“In short, will the city be any fun?”

These handy thoughts about the complexity and simplicities of urban design come from Jacobs’ 1958 book The Exploding Metropolis.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s