Now for the good stuff: specific crops grown at Monticello. Some of these veggies and fruits date back to 1774 when Jefferson first planted the crop. We brought home a few seed packets (who could resist) to try them out in the Gardenerd Test Garden.
Before we get started here are a few fun facts:
Garden staff have successfully harvested artichokes 13 out of the 21 years that they have been grown at Monticello.They are also growing cardoons.
Jefferson’s favorite herb was tarragon, for use in vinaigrette.
Jefferson grew peanuts when no one else really knew what they were. He had 64 hills of peanuts growing during the season.
Enslaved people lifted and stored sweet potatoes over winter near the hearth under the floorboards.
Crop Specifics at Monticello
There’s so much more growing the garden, I can’t elaborate here, but I’ll sum up: okra, madder (a root used for dying fiber), comfrey, wormwood, hyssop, melons, Lima beans, celery dating back to 1774, Whiporwill cowpeas, Danvers carrots, San Marzano tomatoes, green beans from Switzerland, tansy, purple cabbage, gourds, and watermelons. It’s overwhelming, but beautiful. Go see it! Can’t go, then yes, you can buy seeds from the gift shop here.
If you missed yesterday’s blog post, click here. And check back for tricks and tips from classes at the Heritage Harvest Festival next week.