Skip to main content

Chap X           

It is best to mix a little at a time only, & when it grows too dry, sprinkle a little liq’r over it again, until you enlarge the grains to the size you would wish. – The larger the better. – nThe same pickle, powder & management will do for any sort of Corn, Seed, or grain, that you would sow in the manner described With his new invented transplanting machine particularly Wheat and Barley. –Some mix old & New Turnip seed together to avoid injury by the fly – but he recommends, in preference, to sow one half the seed steeped and managed as before directed – and the other half in its natural state. – Pag’s 119 -& 120


Chap: XII

General Pickles for Wheat

For farmers who sow great and will not go to the expense of the above pickle.  Take a Tar Hogshead; let it into the ground with its top even with the surface in some by place, having a cover thereon. – In this keep Chamber lees from one feed time to another, the older it is the better; in this throw all the Bullock Sheep, Hogs or any other sort of galls you can get --the more the better. – In each hogshead full of liquor put two gallons of Train Oil, a great many heads of garlick bruised, one il. of Copperas, one lb. of Nitre, & one stone of bay salt.  Steep the feed therein eight hours & skim off all the light seed that swims at top, then take it out, & on a floor mix with it quick lime & soot of each an equal quantity, till it be of a consistensee proper for sowing. It is a mistaken opinion that none but new Wheat will grow – old is rather better than new, particularly if steeped is this pic.

When reading Washington's notes, consider the following questions:

  • Why would Washington be recording these notes in a notebook? What does this tell us about Washington?
  • Why is agriculture important in Washington's life?
  • What chapters is Washington reading? (Hint: look at the roman numerals!)
  • What information do the notes give us about agriculture?

Classroom Materials downloads are ZIP files that include, when available: document images (JPEGs), document transcripts (PDF as well as Word and/or Excel files), and ready to use classroom resources (activities, discussion prompts, lesson plans, etc.). These materials are available for educational uses only. If you would like to reproduce them in any other medium, please contact Dawn Bonner, Manager of Visual Resources.



These two pages contain George Washington’s handwritten notes on the 1785 book A New System of Husbandry by Charles Varlo. In these notes, Washington records various agricultural experiments he tried, as well as advice and techniques from agricultural writers of his time.