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Meet Amazing Americans Scientists & Inventors George Washington Carver
Farmers gathering up peanut plants
Farmers gathering up peanut plants

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The Peanut Man

Carver knew that certain plants put nutrients back into the soil. One of those plants is the peanut! Peanuts are also a source of protein.

Carver thought that if those farmers planted peanuts, the plants would help restore their soil, provide food for their animals, and provide protein for their families--quite a plant! In 1896 peanuts were not even recognized as a crop in the United States, but Carver would help change that.

Carver told farmers to rotate their crops: plant cotton one year, then the next year plant peanuts and other soil-restoring plants, like peas and sweet potatoes. It worked! The peanut plants grew and produced lots of peanuts. The plants added enough nutrients to the soil so cotton grew the next year. Now the farmers had lots of peanuts--too many for their families and animals--and no place to sell the extras. Again, Carver had a plan. Do you know what he did?

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