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Celebrating America, Celebrating Agriculture

July 3, 2012

I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.George Washington

George Washington, the father of our country, was a simple man who valued agriculture above all else. Washington once said, “I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s cares.”

Washington had four gardens covering six acres at Mount Vernon, each with their own specific purpose. The Upper Garden began as a fruit and nut garden in 1762 but later became a pleasure garden full of roses, annuals and perennials. The Lower Garden was for fruits and vegetables, growing things like asparagus, spinach and onions. Washington kept a Botanical Garden which he used for experimentation with new crops and varieties. He was an innovator and strived for his farming operation to be self sufficient. He felt it was disreputable for a farmer to buy seeds every year. His Fruit Garden and Nursery supplied him and his family with fresh fruit for more than six months out of the year.

This Independence Day, we are reflecting on the lifestyle of George Washington and celebrating America and the tradition that Washington was so passionate about – agriculture. Plant something this 4th of July. Start a flower bed or an herb garden. This is great activity for the family to get everyone involved in something that is meaningful and rewarding. Enjoy fresh fruits, veggies and herbs from your backyard. Gardening is an excellent component of a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some tips to starting a few different types of gardens:

As a gardener, keep yourself informed on the invasive pests and diseases which may affect your plants. Our website is the perfect resource for doing just that. Stay informed with our Pest Alerts, updated with our informative videos, and follow along as we discuss Florida agriculture on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Flickr!

Have a wonderful 4th of July and don’t pack a pest!

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