Video and Audio

The Story of George Washington Carver and the Humble Peanut

Erin Vinacco
March 13, 2022

Erin Vinacco shares this beautiful story of how God inspired George Washington Carver during her Sunday Service talk at Ananda Village, March 13th 2022. You can find the complete talk here.


One of my favorite examples is the life of George Washington Carver, who was a great scientist-saint, I would say. He lived...he was born into slavery—was an African American born into slavery at the end of the Civil War. And his entire life is amazing. I wish I had time to tell his whole story. But I highly recommend—I highly recommend reading more about him. It's very inspiring: all that he overcame to become this amazing scientist and researcher that really transformed the agricultural industry.

And so he was working at one point in the South, and cotton had been the only crop grown in the South for many, many years. And it had completely depleted the soil. There were pests; and people—the farmers—were devastated. There was nothing they could do; they were losing money.

And so he tested the soil, and he found out that you could plant peanuts, and it would help bring back the soil—the nutrients that the soil needed. So of course, people were like, "I'm not going to plant peanuts. What are we going to do with them?" There was nothing to be done with peanuts at that time. There was no market for peanuts, but people started planting peanuts. And then there were all these peanuts everywhere.

And so Dr. Carver had this habit: Every morning at 4 AM, he would go out into the woods, and he would talk to God. So one morning, he went out, and he prayed to God, "Why did You create the universe?" And God responded, "That's too big of a question. Ask something that's more your size." So he said, "Okay, why did You create the earth?" And God said, "No, that's still too big of a question for your little mind." So he asked, "Why did You create man?" And God said, "Your little mind still wants to know too much. Ask something more your size." And so he asked, "Well, why did You create plants?" And God said, "Far too big; far too big, still."

So finally he asked, "Lord, why did You create the peanut?" And God answered him and guided him; and he went back to his laboratory, and within ten days, he created hundreds of uses for the peanut: dyes, plastics, medicines, food products. I mean, it's just an endless and amazing list of things that he created just with the peanut; not to mention all of his other inventions.

But it just speaks to that power of raising our consciousness—attuning with that divine vision, that intuition to know from within.