There are two important decades in U. S. history in which southern-born African Americans migrated to the North in large numbers. Most migrated in search of better paying jobs and housing. Others started fleeing to escape oppressive race relations and Jim Crow policies that begun after the end of Reconstruction in 1877.
Yet southern migrants did not abandon their rural traditions such as gardening when they went North cities like Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark, and New York.
Subsistence gardening remained a central part of their foodways when space and time permitted. Some gardens in allies, on roof tops, in make shift garden beds in front or behind their dwellings, and in abandon lots when possible. Eating fresh beets and canning an particular large yield of them allowed one's family to consume healthy vegetables throughout the year