Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mount Vernon Agriculture

George Washington said that, "agriculture has ever been amongst the most favorite amusements of my life".  It is true that the man love to be at home, on his farm at Mount Vernon.

In a letter to a friend, Mr. Washington commented, "..I am led to reflect how much more delightful to an undebauched mind is the task of making improvements on the earth, than all the vain glory which can be aquired from the ravaging of it...".  It might be safe to say that Mr. Washington had an understanding of our inherrited stewardship of our home, the earth.

Even when away from his farm serving his country, which was much of the time, his thought were with his beloved home.  He wrote frequent letters to the managers of his estate giving them directions and planning for the opperation of the farm and asked for status reports on the condition of crops and animals.  He would ask how the new grass they planted came on and if the winter affected it.

George Washington was a leader of this country, but he was also a leader in agriculture.  Historians give credit to Washington for the mule through the cross breeding of donkeys and horses.  This turned out to be an excellent work animal that, he believed, was cheaper to feed than horses and easier to keep.  He also did many experiments with all kinds of plants to see which would grow the best in Mount Vernon soil.

A very interesting man, indeed.  Not just as a founder of this nation but as a farmer who loved the land and his home.

George Washington thought "outside the box" as a farmer.  What can we learn from this?

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