Monticello’s 11th Annual Harvest Festival: Following Jefferson's Passion For Gardening


| 9/22/2017 12:00:00 AM


Biscuit making demo

Biscuit making demo with Paula Marcaux

Under clear blue skies and perfect weather, I had the pleasure of attending the 11th annual harvest festival at Monticello. Could there possibly be a better place to hold this type of event? After all, Thomas Jefferson was consumed with keeping detailed weather notes, twice daily for over 40 years. This data was used for several uses but primarily to help with crops.

Jefferson was an avid seed-saver and laid the groundwork successful farming practices in America for future generations. He tried in failed in many an agricultural experiments and said this: “One success is worth 99 failures.” Although he failed in producing sufficient grapes for wine production he is often said to be the father of the Virginia wine industry-which is thriving lately.

September 8th was the opening of the event on a smaller scale than Saturday the 9th. Three classrooms and three other venues hosted classes on a variety of subjects like:



Baking biscuits and breads in an open fire
Exploring regional heirloom wheat with Paula Marcoux
Ferment your garden harvest with Dawn Story
From seed to garment: cotton and flax with Cindy Conner
Boiling water-bath canning with Leni Sorensen
Home-based edible oil processing with Chris Smith
19 other classes or garden walks were available to attend on that first day.



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