"A Rich Spot of Earth"

Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello by Peter J. Hatch

"Peter Hatch’s vibrant and enthusiastic passion for preserving Thomas Jefferson's farming legacy at Monticello reminds us all of the time-tested continuity and historical root of this kind of agriculture."
- Alice Waters, from the Foreword

Were Thomas Jefferson to walk the grounds of Monticello today, he would no doubt feel fully at home in the 1,000-foot terraced vegetable garden where the very vegetables and herbs he favored are thriving. Extensively and painstakingly restored under Peter J. Hatch’s brilliant direction, Jefferson’s unique vegetable garden now boasts the same medley of plants he enthusiastically cultivated in the early nineteenth century. The garden is a living expression of Jefferson’s genius and his distinctly American attitudes. Its impact on the culinary, garden, and landscape history of the United States continues to the present day.

Graced with nearly 200 full-color illustrations, “A Rich Spot of Earth” is the first book devoted to all aspects of the Monticello vegetable garden. Hatch guides us from the asparagus and artichokes first planted in 1770 through the horticultural experiments of Jefferson’s retirement years (1809–1826). The author explores topics ranging from labor in the garden, garden pests of the time, and seed saving practices to contemporary African American gardens. He also discusses Jefferson’s favorite vegetables and the hundreds of varieties he grew, the half-Virginian half-French cuisine he developed, and the gardening traditions he adapted from many other countries.

Available in April 2012, "A Rich Spot of Earth" Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello by Peter J. Hatch is a gorgeous volume showcasing Jefferson’s amazing vegetable garden, its uniquely American characteristics, and its legacy.

A co-publication of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello and Yale University Press. Cloth 978-0-300-17114-3; $35.00
Also available as an eBook. 288 pp. 10 1⁄4 x 8 1⁄2 201 color illus.

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