No matter how cold or snowy the winter is, spring always follows. To a farmer, like George Washington, who once stated “Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved,” the coming of spring was important.
George Washington used every season to its full advantage in terms of improving his farm. Being ready to put that first crop in within the first days of spring was paramount. As he once expressed, “I would rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.” He made sure that planting in spring would go according to a specific schedule. A copy of his seven year plan of crop rotation and utilization of the different fields at Mount Vernon is shown below:
Here at George Washington Birthplace National Monument, we also look for signs of the coming spring. They can come in many forms. For our naturalists, the return of different
species, including the spotted salamander is a definitive sign of warmer spring weather. For those who work on the farm, it’s the abundance of new life; piglets, calves and lambs. For others, it’s the blooming of flowers and the return of the rich color in our trees, plants, and bushes around the park. There are many ways to celebrate the arrival of spring.
This year as we celebrate our 80th anniversary as a park and the 280th birthday of George Washington we invite you to come for a visit and take a walk in the footsteps of this “Founding Father.” What will be your first sign of spring?