Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Spring at Mt Vernon
Mt Vernon, George Washington's home is not far from where I live, in fact the land the condo is on was part of the Washington Estate 200+ years ago. Some legends have it that Washington himself named this hill Mt Eagle. Because it is so close, I buy an annual membership and go often, my goal this year is to go at least once per month - the walk around the grounds is good exercise and every time I am out there I learn a little more about the first President and historic farming. I am also very pleased with my improved ability to walk the grounds and climb the hill back from the lower farm, I can really feel the difference over the past five months.
It is some what of a miracle that estate exists. The estate passed through the Washington family for nearly 100 year's after his death, with much of the outlying farms being sold off. The "Mansion" was is deep disrepair in middle 1800's and was bought by the Mt Vernon Ladies Association. The Association owns and operates the estate.
In the Washington's time the estate operated as a fine estate, growing much of what they needed, and generating crops and other harvests for sale. The farm raised cattle, hogs, fowl and of course sheep. The historic farming operation has a wonderful flock of sheep, a handful of pigs, and a few cattle. From time to time they have chickens, and the estate has been the final home of a few "Presidential Turkeys," the turkey growers give the current President a couple of very overgrown birds at the holiday time and most President's "pardon" the birds and send them off to die of a heart attack on a farm or in a zoo. Most of them don't last long, they have been fattened to the point it is a wonder the stress from the cameras don't make them stroke out at the White House.
It is spring, so it is lambing season, a whole hilltop of fluffiness.