In spite of having little of their own time, enslaved African-American families at Monticello cultivated a rich horticultural tradition. Through the maintenance of their own garden plots, the enslaved community seized a rare moment of independence to create something for themselves in a world that...
Visitors to Monticello recorded memories of late afternoon dinners at Monticello “served in half Virginian, half French style in good taste and abundance,” but the records rarely mention the enslaved cooks and their families who made these meals possible.
While Jefferson often gets the credit, it was enslaved chefs like James Hemings, who created Monticello's famed "half Virginian, half French" cuisine. Food Historian Leni Sorensen explains how Hemings's training in France and the installation of stew stoves changed cooking here.
Apples of many varieties were cultivated in Jefferson’s Virginia. The fruit was used to make pies, preserves, and other foodstuffs, of course, but in Jefferson’s time apples were especially valued for the making of cider.
Winemaking in Virginia was first attempted by our country’s first settlers over 400 years ago. Today, you can experience the fruits of their labors when you visit one of the almost 300 wineries around the Commonwealth. Video produced by Virginia is for Lovers.