On Day three of the “Freedom Trail” trip to Washington D.C., we headed out to Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s home. Following a film about George Washington at the education center, teachers headed off to explore the estate.
Washington’s home was really interesting with its many small rooms, smaller and more plentiful than I had expected, but I was most fascinated by all the other structures on the estate: Blacksmith shop, slave quarters, greenhouse, washroom, storage buildings, livery, and many more.
I was impressed by the fact that Mount Vernon wasn’t just a home–it was a small community. It wasn’t just a house and land–it was an enterprise.
George Washington proved himself an astute ecologist, as well. We learned about, and saw, “live fences” made from carefully planted trees, Washington’s use of crop rotation, forest paths, and nursuries of fruit trees that would be replanted elsewhere.
One interesting fact I didn’t know: George Washington made a substantial income selling wheat to European nations and the West Indies.