The Black Dirt Region
The History of the Black Dirt Region
Located in southeastern New York State in the Town of Warwick, the hamlet of Pine Island’s heritage is rooted in agriculture and the community this industry has fostered for decades. The fertile black dirt farming region, located in Orange County, consists today of thousands of very flat acres of deep and richly organic soil, dissected by rivers, drainage ditches and farm roads. This unique valley formed from the decay of plants and the remains of a great shallow swamp as a result of glaciers melting away over 10,000 years ago. These “drowned lands”, as they were once called, were recognized by early Polish settlers to the region to be the same soil that had been commissioned for farming in their homeland.
The Important Role of the Black Dirt in Farming Today
To this day, this region is home to hundreds of farms large and small, which serve local produce stands, city green markets, or wholesale supermarket accounts across the continent. The area is well known for its onion production, but also grows varieties of lettuce greens, sweet corn, soybeans, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, squashes, amongst others. The soils and landscape have also become home to turfgrass sod producers. The surrounding community and businesses of this hamlet of Pine Island continue to grow and diversify, as well as welcome new residents and industries.
Present day Pine Island has a blend of businesses encompassing auto repair, marketing firms, childhood education, landscape firms, financials, tourism, real estate, home contractors, and many more. The local residents and volunteers continue to serve our hamlet through many avenues, making this a community of pride and hometown spirit.
Our business and individual members invite you to come and visit and see this unique part of New York for yourself. See Black Dirt region map.