Mount Vernon is a 500 acre historical site that is dedicated to preserving and sharing the life that its one-time resident -- George Washington -- lived and breathed. With nearly a million visitors each year, the Estate provides a number of exciting areas for tourists to explore, including the mansion where he lived, his distillery and gristmill facilities, and the extensive Mount Vernon garden and grounds. In fact, Woodlawn -- Arcadia's home -- was once a part of Washington's Mount Vernon estate.
The Mount Vernon staff maintain four separate gardens containing fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains and more, all of which bring crops that George Washington would have raised in the 18th century. Upon harvesting, the Mount Vernon Estate distributes food to a number of local food banks, as well as to the Arcadia Mobile Market. This is an especially important step to recognize, as the estate's dedication to outreach allows the community at large to benefit from the fertile site.
Last week Gardens and Greenhouse Manager Peggy Bowers had a number of freshly harvested vegetables for us. One of the heirloom vegetables Peggy grows at Mount Vernon is red, yellow and orange tinted carrots, which made a wonderful, colorful addition to our market offerings. We also gladly accepted two large boxes of green and purple cabbage, helping to flesh out our green offerings of kale, collards and spicy salad mix that come straight from the Arcadia Farm. Potatoes were also plentiful in a couple of different varieties including purple and the more commonly found Yukon Gold -- we hope people will enjoy adding this traditional root vegetable to their meals.
Although we didn't take any on the bus, we took a peek at the flowers growing in the Mount Vernon nursery, and were they a sight to behold! The abundance of blossoming life on the Estate makes it an exciting place to be, and we hope to continue visiting them as much as possible throughout the summer.