I was back in New York from August through mid-October and had some time to explore the area and learn a little about the local lore. One story that I actually heard on Planet Money podcast last February referred to the small town of Pine Island, NY which is just up the road from my daughter's house in Warwick. Pine Island is sort of unremarkable. However it sits in the Warwick Valley which is renown for it's black dirt. And what grows best in that black dirt? Onions. Move over Walla Walla.
The Planet Money story told of a Pine Island onion farmer who figured out a way to corner the onion market, first locally, then all over the country. You can hear the 15 minute listen: Episode 657: The Tale of the Onion King
I didn't get a chance to draw the onion fields, which are definitely black. But I saw plenty of onions.
And corn, tomatoes, peppers etc. etc etc.
You can read more of the story on my blog, Olysketcher.com