Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden

Thomas Jefferson's contributions to the scope of American life are remarkable.  My mother had a deep interest in his writings, philosophy, and contributions, so a family visit to Monticello in my early teens made an impression.

Later visits, after the renovations of Jefferson's gardens had begun, found me fascinated by the scope of his interest and knowledge in all sorts of plants, as well as vegetables. By that time, my interest in historic and heirloom vegetables (and vegetables of all kinds) and the history of plant exchanges and gardening in the Americas and beyond had been kindled, so I was hooked.

I'd been hoping all spring to get an opportunity to hear Peter Hatch, the Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello, speak about his new book "A Rich Spot of Earth" - Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello.  He was first speaking in Nashville, then the Triangle Area of NC (Raleigh, I think) and there was the kick-off event at Monticello, at a totally busy time for me in April -- and all of these places are 5 hours plus drives.

So, I was delighted to hear a wonderful piece on National Public Radio's All Things Considered this evening.  Melissa Block's interview with Peter Hatch brought Thomas Jefferson, the gardener, to life.  Take a listen and enjoy the visuals on the NPR's Food  blog, The Salt.  Click at the top to listen to the story first.

I'm ordering the book!


  1. Will give it a listen. I wish we got back to Monticello more often. The more years I amassed as a Master Gardener, the more I wanted to visit his gardens again and again.

  2. Lisa, your posts continue to delight and inspire. Thanks for this book title, which I'll order immediately as a bit of spice for the Rensing Center library. Your vegetables
    are thriving in the garden!

  3. Janet, weren't the gardens amazing (and thanks to Peter Hatch, we see them recreated).

    Ellen, I'm glad to hear the veggies are thriving -- best wishes for your summer season.



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