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The Vegetable Garden

The Site of the Vegetable Garden

The 1,000-foot long garden terrace served as both a source of food and an experimental laboratory.


Jefferson: The Scientist & Gardener

Jefferson grew 330 varieties of more than 70 different species of vegetables, precisely recording the details of their growth.


19th-Century Vegetables & Cultivation

Jefferson employed the latest gardening practices and grew many varieties that have since become unfamiliar.


The Vegetable Garden Today

The restoration is both a snapshot of the typical garden of the day and an expression of Jefferson's ambitious planting schemes.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Monticello Vegetable Garden

A list of general facts about the Monticello Vegetable Garden.


martindiazalvarez's picture
I'm planning to visit this vegetable garden in the near future.
Martin Diaz Alvarez
brck's picture
I have not been there in a few years I can tell you though, the vegetable gardens are fairly new. They found, somewhere, his drawings for the layout of the garden. And they then, are placing gardens according to his drawings. Neat place. Watch for the bucket at the end of the tunnel. Ask if you can't find it
martindiazalvarez's picture
Thanks for the information, really appreciate it.
Martin Diaz Alvarez
Chronica Domus's picture
Hello, I visited Monticello and its surrounding gardens two summers ago and was so inspired to grow some of Jefferson's favorite vegetables. Purchasing the seeds at the gift shop enabled me to do so and also inspired me to write two posts on my blog, the first recreating a Jeffersonian salad, the second about recreating a Jeffersonian pea contest. If you'd be interested in reading them, here are the links:
Chronica Domus
Cindyrella728's picture
Thank you Chronica! Yours is the first response to my inquiry about the historical facts about Kitchen gardens in the period around 1810. I must come to Monticello next summer. When in the summer months would you recommend I go? I will read your posts with great enthusiasm! Looking forward to future communications.
ksmeltzer's picture
Produce from the terrace vegetable garden is occasionallly given to staff members or sold to the Cafe at Monticello. I tell you, the first time our wonderful gardeners shared some fresh carrots from the veggie garden, I felt like I met real carrots for the first time. All those strange store-bought orange sticks of my past suddenly seemed so disappointing. But the carrots from the garden--delicious!
Kristie Smeltzer
Cindyrella728's picture
Yes, I can only imagine how much differently the heritage vegetables must have tasted, sans pollution and pesticides. Thanks for your response. I look forward to attempting to recreate those tastes in our own garden.
sbonharper's picture
Monticello's restored vegetable garden is one of the most stunning parts of the plantation currently on view to visitors. It is probably more beautiful today than when it was enclosed by a tall paling (fence) during Jefferson's time. Back then, slave labor contributed to the production of vegetables for the Jefferson family's table BOTH in this substantial and impressive garden, and in the slaves' own gardens adjacent to their own houses. We know that Monticello slaves sold vegetables and other products (eggs, for example) to the Jefferson family, and was one of their main entry points into the cash economy.
Sara Bon-Harper


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