Enfilade

Gardening at Monticello

Posted in books by Editor on March 21, 2012

The perfect way to launch a book, and this book, in particular? A garden party at Monticello, of course! From Monticello:

Book Party Launch for ‘A Rich Spot of Earth’: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden
Monticello, 23 April 2012

Celebrate the launch of Peter Hatch’s “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Gardenat Monticello. Join us for an elegant garden party with the author as he discusses his pioneering new book. This gorgeous volume tells the history of Jefferson’s unique vegetable garden at Monticello and uncovers his lasting influence on American culinary, garden, and landscape history. The book also showcases the 1980s project that restored the garden to its original glory.

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From Yale UP:

Peter J. Hatch, ‘A Rich Spot of Earth’: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 280 pages, ISBN: 9780300171143, $35.

"Peter Hatch’s vibrant and enthusiastic passion for preserving Thomas Jefferson's farming legacy at Monticello reminds us all of the time-tested continuity and historical root of this kind of agriculture." - Alice Waters, from the Foreword

Were Thomas Jefferson to walk the grounds of Monticello today, he would no doubt feel fully at home in the 1,000-foot terraced vegetable garden where the very vegetables and herbs he favored are thriving. Extensively and painstakingly restored under Peter J. Hatch’s brilliant direction, Jefferson’s unique vegetable garden now boasts the same medley of plants he enthusiastically cultivated in the early nineteenth century. The garden is a living expression of Jefferson’s genius and his distinctly American attitudes. Its impact on the culinary, garden, and landscape history of the United States continues to the present day.

Graced with nearly 200 full-color illustrations, “A Rich Spot of Earth” is the first book devoted to all aspects of the Monticello vegetable garden. Hatch guides us from the asparagus and artichokes first planted in 1770 through the horticultural experiments of Jefferson’s retirement years (1809–1826). The author explores topics ranging from labor in the garden, garden pests of the time, and seed saving practices to contemporary African American gardens. He also discusses Jefferson’s favorite vegetables and the hundreds of varieties he grew, the half-Virginian half-French cuisine he developed, and the gardening traditions he adapted from many other countries.

As Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello since 1977, Peter J. Hatch has been responsible for the maintenance, interpretation, and restoration of its 2,400-acre landscape. He has written several previous books on Jefferson’s gardens and is an advisor for First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House kitchen garden. He lives in Charlottesville, VA.

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