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Farmer George Plants a Nation
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Farmer George Plants a Nation

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
George Washington as he's rarely seen. Besides being a general and the first president of the United States, George Washington was also a farmer. His efforts to create a self-sufficient farm at Mount Vernon, Virginia, mirrored his struggle to form a new nation. Excerpts from Washington's writings are featured throughout this NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book, which a ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Calkins Creek
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Feb 13, 2015 Kara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-american

Forget war and politics, according to this examination of George Washington’s life, his passion and pursuits were all about agricultural.

And considering the evidence presented, you really wonder when on earth he had time for any of his national work, considering he seems to have spent so much time doing botany experiments. It’s all interesting, yes, but acts as an odd counterpoint to all the events going on his life.

And of course there is the elephant in the room of slavery, addressed in an aut
Jun 30, 2012 Rachael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This book just really touched me because it showed the outstanding character of George Washington by focusing on his dedication to his farm and not on the war or his Presidency. It showed that he cared just as much about the small "unimportant" things of life as he did about the big things.
Quinn Rollins
Oct 19, 2011 Quinn Rollins rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
When I think of George Washington, my first thoughts are of his presidency, my second thoughts of him as a general in the Contintental Army, and my third thoughts are about his teeth. Fourth comes questions about his hair, fifth about his cherry tree chopping, and sixth about why he has to share a birthday with Abraham Lincoln. Pretty far down the list, you get "George Washington was a farmer." Some of that has been rearranged by Peggy Thomas' 2008 picture book, Farmer George Plants a Nation.

Natalie Haldeman
Title: Farmer George Plants a Nation
Author: Peggy Thomas
Illustrator: Layne Johnson
Genre: Biography
Theme(s): History, George Washington, Farms and Farm Life, United States
Opening line/sentence: George Washington dug his hand into the newly tilled earth and let the hard, dry clay crumble through his long fingers.
Brief Book Summary: This story goes into depth about how president George Washington not only was an actual farmer of the field, but also the farmer of our country. Throughout this story w
Oct 06, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
Genre: Picture Biography

This book tells the story of the life of George Washington before, during, and after his presidency. It begins by telling about Washington's life as a farmer in his early years. George Washington found many ways to make crops better by changing the way the seeds were planted and the fertilizer that was used. In June 1775 he left to fight in the American Revolution, not returing to Mount Vernon for eight years. The book goes on to tell about Washington as the first preside
Aug 06, 2010 Marfita rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Another Children's Book Award nominee from our state. This biography of George Washington concentrates on his farm concerns, just as the title indicates. If you're looking for Valley Forge, you've opened the wrong book. President? He seems to use the position to further his farming interests. He visits each state and quizzes people on their farming.
Oh, sure - he does other things: wins that pesky revolutionary war thing and approves laws, but the main story here is the way he coped with taxatio
Jan 05, 2009 Sally rated it really liked it
I love how sometimes "cluster reading" several books at the same time seems so serendipitous. While reading this book, I was also reading Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich, where in she describes gardening as "peaceful sedition." Well, isn't that was George Washington was doing as he "planted less and less tobacco so he did not have to ship it to England. Instead he grew more and more wheat to sell to other colonists.... Soon Mount Vernon was like ...more
Jun 20, 2010 Charlyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grades 3 and up
Most children know George Washington as a president; some know him as a general; but few know him as a farmer. But that is the one occupation that followed him throughout his adult life. When he first came to Mount Vernon, he tried to grow crops that were less dependent on England as the market. This was a time when the colonies were becoming disenchanted with their relationship with the mother country and Washington was eventually called away from Mt. Vernon to lead the American army. He was go ...more
Feb 14, 2015 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: camellia-books
This is a wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated book that focuses on George Washington's life as a farmer. My 9 year old daughter and I both enjoyed reading about the inventions he made, such as the combo plow & tiller, and the compost tests he conducted in his home garden. We also enjoyed reading the diary excerpts - a nice touch to read his thoughts on farming and Mt. Vernon. The author provides some extras at the back of the book: a timeline, a note about George Washington's tho ...more
Sep 19, 2011 Vivian rated it it was amazing
This book fills a much neglected niche in how children are introduced to George Washington. We think of him first as the bullet-proof soldier and general and second as the creator of the office of the President of the United States of America. Here we receive a glimpse of him as a farmer. Indeed, this story is full of suggestions for exploring gardening here and now. Like "Farmer George", we can think about improvements to existing tools, use the scientific method of experimenting, keep a journa ...more
Mar 30, 2008 Mandy rated it really liked it
A fascinating look at a side of our first president that I knew nothing about. He composted, invented a more efficient plow, designed a 16-sided barn for threshing wheat, strived to make Mount Vernon self-sufficient (or at least not dependent on Britain), and "thought a lot about manure, too."

In April 1794, while serving as president, he wrote in his journal that "Nothing is more wanting in this Country, than a thorough knowledge of [manuring]."

I love that this book uses quotes from Washington'
Dec 02, 2014 April rated it really liked it
From an entry I wrote for Children's Lit:

"I thought this was a lovely book. History was never my strong point, but I loved reading books like "Dear America,"--stories about the daily life of a person in a certain time period. This book was not about George Washington as our first president, but rather as a farmer. I had no idea George Washington was such a passionate farmer (and I've been to Mount Vernon! History just doesn't stick.) In the back of the book, there is a timeline, Washington's th
We all know George Washington as the first President of the United States and a great general during the Revolutionary War; what we don't know is that his first love was farming and he was really just a farmer at heart. This picture book biography explores that aspect of Washington's life. It teaches us about how he revolutionized his farm and made it a model for other farmers. It talks about his inventions and innovations in farming. He was really quite a brilliant mind and not just where war i ...more
Nathan Beck
The illustrations are wonderful, and the story seems spot on accurate! However, I'm not sure who exactly the audience is that Ms Thomas is looking for. Whats the age range? My 2 1/2 year old didn't understand or care about any of it, and I dare say that an 8 year old would not care for it either. In any case, it is a great book, and I hope I someday read it to my daughter when she can follow along and enjoy it as much as I did.
This book reveals the farmer in George Washington. Washington was really into farming in a big way. This book outlines just how far he went in his farming pursuits. It's an extremely thorough book. Every sentence seems to be meticulously fact-checked. It also doesn't hide the fact that Washington was a slave owner. It is a very honest portrayal.
Oct 07, 2013 Chelsea rated it really liked it
Shelves: ch-02-nsta
This is s great informational book written about president George Washington from the time he returned from the war until his death. It is written like a story in a way younger children will understand and it also includes real quotes from Washington himself! I like the timeline it includes in the back of the book
Jan 30, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful look at our nation's first president as a farmer. Along with beautiful artwork, this book showcases George's love for experimenting, his ingenuity, and the deep love and care he felt for his land. While most studies of Mr. Washington cover his military service, this book is a wonderful tribute to the man behind the uniform.
Oct 17, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
Who knew George Washington was an agricultural researcher and inventor? Students who read this book will find that out. This biography focuses more on his Mount Vernon years than on his years as general and president, to give a different view of our first president.
Sep 29, 2008 Curriculum rated it it was amazing
One might have thought that Washington's highest aspiration was General, Patriot, or perhaps even President. It wasn't. It was farming. Get to know the real President Washington . . . learn why he planted fields and nations.
Inhabiting Books
I loved that this book shows a different side of George Washington, one we don't normally see in children's non-fiction about him - more George the farmer, than George the national hero. It makes him more relatable. My girls and I really enjoyed reading this together.
Dec 20, 2008 Lori rated it it was amazing
Short biography of George Washington focusing on his role as a farmer at his estate, Mount Vernon, and his agrarian contributions to our nation rather than what we most often read of his being General and President. Excellent. Beautiful illustrations by Layne Johnson.
The Library Lady
This would not be a good choice for a child needing a general biography of Washington. But it is an excellent look at a side of Washington few people would imagine--Washington as a creative and innovative farmer.The handsome illustrations bring Washington and Mt Vernon itself to life.
Siobhan Ryan
Feb 20, 2014 Siobhan Ryan rated it liked it
Lovely oil illustrations of GW as a young man make the book appealing. However, major flaw in the addressing of being the owner of the plantation with little explanation given to the enslaved people there.
Jun 21, 2010 Tricia rated it it was amazing
A total twist on the usual biography of George Washington, this title focuses on Washington's farming talents--including experiments that he did using seeds, fertilizers and inventions related to farming. My audience, familiar with Washington as a Statesman, loved it (and so did I)!
Nov 09, 2009 Molly rated it liked it
I enjoyed this look at 'another' side of Washington. I appreciated the note on Washington's views on slavery at the end, since the only reference in the main story was too vague.
Jan 01, 2010 CFAITC added it
Shelves: intermediate
Through George Washington's letters we learn how his efforts to create a self-sufficient farm mirrored his struggle to create a free nation.
Nov 22, 2016 Aimee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GREAT book for children and youth. It offers another perspective of George Washington. It also inspires the reader to *more*. The extra facts at the end were greatly appreciated by my older children.
Kaitlyn Horvath
Oct 08, 2013 Kaitlyn Horvath rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-02-nsta
this is such a good book to teach with. not only can learn about george Washington, they can practice reading too. since this is a longer book, I would say probably third grade.
May 31, 2013 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-new
Dec 11, 2011 Destany rated it it was amazing
This book is super asome
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