The geography of the New York colony was characterized by mountains in the northeast, lowlands near the Canadian border and an Atlantic coastal plain. The climate was mild with warm summers and average winters.
The New York colony, as with the other Middle colonies, had a mix of both New England and Southern geographical features. However, the soil was fertile enough to be well-suited for farming, as was the climate. According to Mr. Nussbaum, the climate made New York part of the "breadbasket" because of the large amounts of barley, wheat, oats and rye that could be grown. The shipping industry in New York City experienced benefits from the coastal harbors of the region as well. These climate benefits spread as manufacturing increased in tandem with New York City's rise as a trading center. The geographic makeup also led to the Dutch creating a strong commercial economy throughout the Hudson Valley by the 1630s. These economic benefits stood in contrast to the New England colonies, where harsher winters led to slower growing seasons, which translated into less overall crops. The New York colony's greatest benefit from its fertile land was the export of flour, which was shipped to Europe for consumption.