New this year! Join us as we say farewell to summer’s gardens and welcome the plants of fall. Taste Monticello’s bounty of fruits and vegetables from our farm and gardens and shop our full plant palette as we ring in the harvest season culminating in our 14th annual Heritage Harvest Festival on October 3.

The simple act of seed saving is an essential, centuries-old, annual exercise: flower and vegetable seeds must be collected, cleaned, properly stored, and kept fresh and viable for the coming planting season. The 18th-century gardener was faced with certain unique challenges that can inform today’s home-gardener intent on saving open-pollinated varieties. Peggy Cornett, Monticello’s Curator of Plants, will explore this topic as experienced by Jefferson, his overseers, enslaved gardeners, and neighbors, and illustrate how Monticello’s present-day efforts not only preserve heirloom varieties for immediate use but also, in the process, help safeguard this living collection for future generations.

Monticello’s beekeepers Paul Legrand and Leslie Bouterie will also present “Fall Preparations for the Overwintering of Healthy Honeybees.” Beekeeping is a year-round endeavor, and bees, like all farm livestock, demand vigilant care. Although the Spring and Summer seasons are the most labor-intensive ones for beekeepers, the Fall and Winter seasons require specific preparation and attention on the part of beekeepers. In this session, learn how the Monticello beekeepers ready the hives and apiaries to promote the overwintering of healthy honeybees, how they diligently monitor and feed the bees, and how they prepare and maintain equipment during the Winter season.

9 AM - 2 PM, Jefferson’s Tufton Farm · FREE; no registration required. GPS Address: 1293 Tufton Farm, Charlottesville, VA

Peggy Cornett has worked at Monticello since 1983. She began as Associate Director of Gardens and Grounds, and then, from 1992-2009, she served as Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants before assuming her current position as Curator of Plants at Monticello. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in English and Botany, and she has a master’s degree in Public Garden Administration and Museum Studies from the Longwood Graduate Program of the University of Delaware.

Paul Legrand is the beekeeper at Monticello. The Monticello bee project started 10 years ago when he offered to start, maintain, and fund an apiary here. The first apiary is 900 feet down the hill from the main house at Monticello. Two years later Paul added a second apiary at Tufton Farm, 1 1/4 miles from the first apiary, to help benefit the gardens and nursery at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. Prior to these projects, Paul spent nearly 20 years as a beekeeper in a northern suburb of New York City.

Leslie Bouterie joined the Monticello beekeeping team in 2015. After moving to Charlottesville from Washington, DC where she worked in museum education and development, Leslie soon became involved with Monticello’s apiaries. Her keen interest prompted research, continuing education, and enthusiastic participation in apiary projects and improvements. Despite the need to carry an Epipen, she is passionate about honeybees and is dedicated to fostering the Monticello Bee Projects and complementary Community Outreach.