This engraving shows a picturesque view of the fertile land around Wandsworth some time between 1750 and 1800. There are neat rows of vegetables and a windmill, and people stroll through corn fields while cattle graze.
Many Flemish and Dutch gardeners moved to Wandsworth in the 1600s. They brought new gardening techniques and London soon became a centre for intensive market gardening. It was easy to get produce from Wandsworth to Covent Garden, London's chief vegetable market.
Fresh fruit and vegetables
From the 1600s people developed a taste for eating raw and fresh vegetables. By the early 18th century, vegetables were very cheap. But they also began to be used as an accompaniment to meat, instead of being reserved for the poor. By the end of the 18th century, fruit and vegetables were in daily use by every section of society.
Museum number 58.22/13