George Washington Carver, through scientific exploration, worked to sustain the livelihood of the agricultural farmer. In the Reconstruction South of the late 19th century, former slaves struggled to support themselves on small farms. Carver’s work was directed at these farmers and promoted self-sufficiency. Carver demonstrated the versatility of crops like the peanut to loosen the dependence on cotton which had begun to destroy the soil. Carver’s sustainable agriculture helped the former slaves in the South run dependable and successful farms and build lives of their own.
At the George Washington Carver National Monument you can visit the 19th century Carver homestead and farm in Missouri to understand his dedication to protect farm life. Explore the grounds with a ranger on a guided tour that takes you past the pre-Civil War family cemetery and the historic 1881 Carver home. Walk through George Washington Carver’s “Secret Garden” which illuminates his love for the natural world. There are many programs to enrich the experience of the park for children. These include Arts Days, to celebrate Carver’s passion for art, where children can sit outdoors around the homestead and paint, as Carver himself did.
Explore the boyhood home of this accomplished man of science and experience for yourself what his 19th century life was like and what motivated his scientific discoveries and humanitarian endeavors.