This Black History Month, we are honoring the innovative and inspirational George Washington Carver, the original pioneer in sustainable farming.
Over the past year, the idea of regenerative agriculture has become more popular due to its representation within popular media, specifically with the Netflix documentary, Kiss the Ground. Yet, this process is not a new concept. Back in the late 19th century, the idea of what we know today as regenerative agriculture was created due to George Washington Carver’s work.
After becoming the first African American to earn a Bachelor in Science degree in 1894, George Washington Carver was hired by Booker T. Washington to lead the Agricultural Department at the historically black Tuskegee University in Alabama. During his tenure, his work aimed to promote the wellbeing of both black and white farmers in the south and to improve the health of their soil, which was at a point of depletion due to the repeated plantings of cotton over the last few decades.
Mr. Carver, through many years of research, uncovered the idea of crop rotation as a method to improve soil health. He proposed to farmers that growing crops like peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes, the soil could be restored and allow for future planting of cotton to be more plentiful. This sustainable farming system became well-loved within the community and led to a surplus of products derived from these new crops. George Washington Carver developed more than 300 products from peanuts during his career, including milk, cooking oils, cosmetics, soaps, and many others. He also experimented with peanut-based medicines. George Washington Carver has not only positively impacted the way farming works today but our society as a whole. We thank you, Mr. Carver!
One of our favorite products that have come out of surplus peanuts is peanut butter. And with Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought we would share a quick recipe of our favorite way to use peanut butter. Check it out here: