The town of Pontoise is on the Oise River, a tributary of the Seine, about forty kilometers northwest of Paris. Pissarro lived there from 1866 to 1882, except during the Franco-Prussian War, on the side of a small hill in the center of town, in the district known as the Hermitage. During the nineteenth century, a wave of modernization reached Pontoise. Factories were built on both banks of the Oise, and Pissarro painted them with the smoke belching from their smokestacks. The town was also a source of agricultural produce for Paris; large amounts of vegetables and fruit were raised there, and, indeed, Pontoise cabbage remains famous to this day. This painting shows one of Pontoise's vegetable gardens. The house visible between the mesh of tree branches still stands on the hillside.