On June 8, 2012, Smithsonian Gardens staff harvested beets, cabbage and turnips to be displayed as part of The Jefferson Table and Gillette Family Garden public program presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) at the USDA Farmer’s Market. The program featured culinary historian Leni Sorensen, Ph.D., who captivated audiences with a cooking demonstration. The harvest was replaced with summer plants started in the Smithsonian Gardens greenhouse and seeds from Monticello.more »
Here at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, we spend most of our days reading Jefferson’s two-hundred-year-old mail. Jefferson wrote approximately 19,000 letters during his lifetime, so you can imagine how many more letters he also received! And that means we have a lot of different handwriting to navigate.more »
“All the stuff Jefferson was doing at Monticello is just having a rebirth now,” said David DeWitt, a food historian and the author of Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson and Franklin Revolutionized American Food.more »
Today, we take for granted the varieties of foods we can buy anytime of the year at our local super market. We can buy Madagascar vanilla in Virginia. Bananas, once exotic, are now seen as an everyday fruit on the breakfast table. It seems like we have no limit to what food we can purchase whenever we want it. But what would happen if we had to eat locally? Meals especially desserts would take much more time.more »
Polyface Farm is a multi-generational, multi-speciated, multi-enterprised farm located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, across the Blue Ridge and a mere 40 miles from Monticello. In Thomas Jefferson's day, that would have been a long, hard day's riding, but today it's a mere one-hour jaunt.more »
Our inaugural Garden Explorers Family Program on July 14 was a resounding success for a wonderful family of four from Indiana. We measured, sketched, and observed on a Veggie Quest through the vegetable garden.
We planted West Indian Gherkin seeds and Cushaw Squash seeds in two garden squares.more »
While we don’t see as many school groups visiting Monticello during the summer as we do in the spring and fall, we love it when a group makes a special effort to visit us. Today, I had the pleasure of working with a high school group that’s part of the Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis. After looking at a map of where Thomas Jefferson had traveled in his lifetime, we could tell he never made it far enough west to reach Indiana. So I issued a challenge to the group.more »