Program Details

The Gladiolus Capital and Much, Much More: Delray Beach’s Agricultural History Delray Beach

Evan Bennett

Course Description

Delray Beach started as Linton, a farming community settled by Michiganders eager to help turn South Florida into a winter garden at the turn of the last century. Their vision soon carried the town to renown as a producer of fruits, vegetables, and, most famously, gladiolas flowers. While agriculture has changed and become a smaller part of Delray Beach's economy, growers nevertheless continue to turn out crops west of town. This lecture will explore that long history of agriculture, placing it in the context of South Florida's history as a garden spot and the larger currents of agricultural production in the U.S. and abroad.

About the Instructor

  • Evan P. Bennett, Ph.D. is a historian of the American South whose research focuses on the intersections of rural, environmental, and labor history. His most recent book is "Tampa Bay: The Story of an Estuary and Its People" (University Press of Florida, 2024). He is the author of “When Tobacco Was King: Families, Farm Labor, and Federal Policy in the Piedmont,” (University Press of Florida, 2014). He is also co-editor of “Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule: African American Landowning Families Since Reconstruction,” (University Press of Florida, 2012).