Andrea Wulf, author of Founding Gardeners: the Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation, (as reported in the Washington Post and other venues) believes the first presidents of the United States, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, were revolutionary farmers as much as they were politicians. They loved farming and gardening so much that they gave it preeminence even when engaged in war and politics. Gardening or farming was central to their lives, and they were truly the first environmentalists. They believed independent small scale farms were the “building blocks” of the nation.
Wulf, in an interview for Nation Public Radio, described the founding fathers as obsessed with manure. In what Wulf believes was the first attempt by an American to make compost, Washington had a building constructed at Mount Vernon for the purpose of storing dung for use on his garden. Wulf noted the “pioneering” nature of this venture.
As a diplomat to London, as described by Wulf, John Adams, chaffing under the rounds of social demands, Continue reading