George Washington could be known as America’s First Environmentalist. Washington’s contributions to farming are often overlooked because he was too busy leading an army and then a country to really write extensive tomes on them. But, we will have you know that:
- Washington was the first American composter. Who knew, right?! His “repository for dung” was the first of its kind in America.
- The Washingtons had a pleasure garden, kitchen garden, orchard, plant nursery, and even an experimental garden where exotic plants and seeds were tested to see if they would survive the Virginia climate.
- Washington introduced the concept of crop rotation to American farmers. After watching tobacco ravage the soil of Virginia plantations, Washington employed many land conservation measures, such as switching his main crops to corn and wheat, planting green cover crops in the winter, and using organic fertilizers.
- And as a random fact, Washington introduced the mule to America. Just some cocktail party triva for you as a special treat.
Image by L. Toshio Kishiyama