Originally from southeastern Michigan, Brie Arthur studied landscape design at Purdue University. She has worked in many aspects of horticulture including estate gardening at Montrose Gardens and nursery production at Plant Delights and Camellia Forest Nursery. As a professional garden industry communicator, Brie writes, speaks and appears as the Foodscaping correspondent on the PBS Television show “Growing A Greener World.” She also designs sustainable suburban landscapes in the greater triangle area of central NC. briegrows.com
Pat Brodowski, specialty gardener at Monticello, plants and maintains the plantation’s 2-acre kitchen garden comprised of heirloom vegetables and herbs. She researches and grows varieties most likely grown by Thomas Jefferson, and produces seeds for The Shop at Monticello. She received a bachelor’s in agriculture from Cornell University and was an educator and historian at a 19th century farm museum for eight years. She recently researched the history of Jefferson’s herbs and salad greens for her master’s degree.
Tom Burford is a lecturer, writer and consultant with historic sites (including Monticello), private estates, landscape architects and fruit growers. Tom is the author of Apples: A Catalog of International Varieties (Burford Brothers 1998), Fruit Grafters Handbook (Burford Brothers 2001), and co-author of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s The Best Apples to Buy and Grow (Brooklyn Botanic Garden 2005). Tom’s most recent book, Apples of North America (Timber Press 2013), is the winner of the 2014 American Horticultural Society book award.
Cindy Conner researches how to sustainably grow a complete diet in a small space at her home near Ashland, VA, and has produced the videos Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan and Cover Crops and Compost Crops IN Your Garden. Cindy, a former market gardener, was instrumental in establishing the sustainable agriculture program at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Goochland, VA and taught there from 1999-2010. The Heritage Grain Conservancy said her book Grow a Sustainable Diet: planning and growing to feed ourselves and the earth (New Society Publishers 2014) “stands out as the comprehensive resource written from the lifetime of rich experience of a successful gardener.” (Heritage Grain Conservancy) Cindy’s newest book Seed Libraries: and other means of keeping seeds in the hands of the people (New Society Publishing 2015) empowers communities to preserve and protect the genetic diversity of their harvest. You can check out Cindy’s website at HomeplaceEarth.com and follow her blog at HomeplaceEarth.wordpress.com.
Peggy Cornett joined Monticello in 1983 and is currently the Curator of Plants. She earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Botany from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from the Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware. She lectures on Monticello and garden history, is a published author and editor, and a frequent guest on PBS gardening programs.
Dr. Jeanine Davis is a horticulture extension specialist with North Carolina State University. For more than 25 years, her research and extension program has been dedicated to helping farmers and gardeners grow new kinds of crops and transition into organic agriculture. She is also the lead author of the book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals (New Society Publishers 2014). Jeanine and her family operate Our Tiny Farm in western North Carolina where they raise garlic, heirloom popcorn, honey, pastured beef, horses and mini-donkeys. ncherb.org
Pam has grown vegetables at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for more than 20 years, feeding 100 people from 3.5 acres. Her book, Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres (New Society Publishers 2013) is a comprehensive manual for small-scale farmers. Pam writes for Growing for Market magazine and is a regular workshop presenter. sustainablemarketfarming.com
Debbie Donley joined Monticello in 2004 as a flower gardener. She has led numerous workshops as part of the Saturdays in the Garden program with topics including “Seed Saving” and “Watercolor Painting in the Garden”. Also a professional artist, she has been selling her Children’s NAME Pictures at the Charlottesville City Market since 1991.
Pat Foreman is the author of the popular paradigm-shifting book: City Chicks: Employing Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Creators, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers (Good Earth Publications 2010). She is the co-author of: Chicken Tractor (Good Earth Publications 2011), Backyard Market Gardening (Good Earth Publications 1992), and Day Range Poultry (Good Earth Publications 2002). Pat has been widely published in major national magazines including Mother Earth News, Backyard Poultry, and BackHome Magazine. She is a very popular guest on local and national radio and TV talk shows, including NPR and CBS. She was the Co-host of the Chicken Whisperer Talk Show. She is a popular workshop presenter and the creator of the “Chickens and YOU” training series leading to the Master Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification. ChickensAndYOU.com
Lily Fox-Bruguiere is the Garden and Outreach Coordinator for the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello. A University of Virginia graduate with an M.A. in Architectural and Landscape History, Lily has worked professionally as a gardener for fifteen years, including nine years at Monticello.
After serving as a cook in the Marine Corps, Tim formally trained in pastry at The Culinary Institute of America. He then extended at Charlottesville’s famed Keswick Hall. His culinary career then took him to places as far-flung as a dude ranch in Wyoming and a castle in southern England, with stops in fine-dining restaurants along the way. He finally returned to Charlottesville to open Gearhart’s Fine Chocolates, where he and his team have been crafting distinctive artisan chocolates enjoyed by customers near and far. gearhartschocolates.com
Peter Hatch, Director of Gardens and Grounds Emeritus for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, lives in Albemarle County, Virginia, where he gardens, lectures, consults, and writes about garden history. Hatch was responsible for the maintenance, interpretation, and restoration of the 2,400-acre landscape at Monticello from 1977 to 2012. The author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, he has lectured in 37 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants. He travels extensively to promote his latest work, A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello (Yale University Press 2014), an award-winning book on Jefferson’s vegetable garden. peterjhatch.com
Tim Johnson is the Head of Preservation at Seed Savers Exchange, where he leads a diverse team of scientists, historians, curators, and educators working to preserve, document, and share the organization’s collection of 20,000 fruit and vegetable varieties. Since joining Seed Savers Exchange in 2012, he has developed and administered numerous programs that help gardeners become seed savers, citizen scientists, and garden historians. He was also a contributing editor and photographer for The Seed Garden, recipient of the 2015 American Horticultural Society Book Award for outstanding garden books. www.seedsavers.org
Corby Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he edits articles on politics and public affairs, and editor in chiefof IDEAS: The Magazine of the Aspen Institute. He joined The Atlantic in 1981 and became established as a food writer through his work in the magazine. Kummer writes a monthly food column for The New Republic and is a restaurant critic for Boston Magazine and Atlanta Magazine. He is also a contributor to Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and Smithsonian and the author of the books The Joy of Coffee and The Pleasures of Slow Food. He is the winner of five James Beard Journalism Awards.
Paula Marcoux is a food historian who lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The author of Cooking with Fire (Storey 2014), she has worked professionally as an archaeologist, cook, and bread-oven builder. She is the food editor of Edible South Shore and South Coast magazine, writes on food history topics for popular and academic audiences, and consults with museums, film producers, and publishers. She gives regular workshops on natural leavening, historic baking, and wood-fired cooking through PlymouthCRAFT. themagnificentleaven.com and PlymouthCRAFT.org
An organic gardener for more than 30 years, Barbara Pleasant is a contributing editor to MOTHER EARTH NEWS, and is the author of numerous books including Starter Vegetable Gardens (Storey Publishing 2010) and The Complete Compost Gardening Guide. (Storey Publishing 2008) Barbara lives in Floyd, Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers. barbarapleasant.com
Gabriele Rausse, director of gardens and grounds at Monticello, first grafted Jefferson’s 1807 wine varietals for Monticello in 1984. Eleven years later he joined the staff as Assistant Director of Gardens and Grounds. Gabriele, a native of Vicenza, Italy, graduated in Agricultural Science from Milan University. He first worked for the Tenuta Santa Margherita winery outside Venice and in 1976 was invited to Virginia to begin what is now Barboursville Vineyards. Gabriele, “the father of Virginia wine,” has helped to start over 40 vineyards and ten Virginia wineries, and was nominated the Virginia wine industry’s Man of the Year in 1996.
In 2001, Charlotte Shelton and her family founded Vintage Virginia Apples LLC to develop and exploit the collection of distinctive and mostly heirloom apples they had collected on their farm at North Garden, Virginia. They established a nursery that propagates rare and hard to find fruit trees, offer workshops on related horticultural topics and in 2009 embarked on their most ambitious project, Albemarle Cider Works. Under their farm winery license, they produce a variety of distinctive ciders, using their own and other locally produced apples. The second cidery in Virginia, Albemarle Cider Works works to improve its own ciders and support the emergence of cider in Virginia. albemarleciderworks.com
Dr. Leni Sorensen is a culinary historian, teacher of home provisioning and rural life skills, lecturer, consultant and writer who has been working in colleges, festivals and historic house museums for more than 30 years. indigohouse.us
Dawn Story is the creatrix of Farmstead Ferments artisanal, fermented foods and brews. She homesteads in southern Albemarle County, Virginia, alongside a poultry flock, bee hives, two dogs, three cats and a huge garden that inspires hand-crafted fermented foods, as well as what’s for supper. She is humbled and blessed to walk a path of right livelihood doing what she loves as a means of sustenance. farmsteadferments.com
Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian who interprets the experiences of enslaved African Americans through food and its preparation. He created Afroculinaria.com, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy, and was honored by FirstWeFeast.com as one of twenty greatest food bloggers of all time. He has appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, and has lectured to more than 250 groups including at Yale, Oxford and Carnegie Mellon Universities, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Michael has been invited to speak around the world, from the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen to the Guardian Festival of Ideas in London to film festivals in Jerusalem, all on culinary justice and the African American impact on Southern foodways. His work has been featured in many publications and websites including Ebony, The Guardian, Eater.com and NPR’s Codeswitch blog. He has appeared on NPR on a number of occasions including being interviewed on the acclaimed food program, The Splendid Table. He has also served as a judge for the James Beard Awards and is a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance and has most recently been named a TED fellow and speaker. He was recently named one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Living and one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart.Com. HarperCollins will release Twitty’s first major book in 2016: The Cooking Gene, which traces his ancestry through food from Africa to America and slavery to freedom. Afroculinaria.com
Ira Wallace is a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange where she coordinates variety selection and seed grower contracts. Southern Exposure offers more than 700 varieties of open-pollinated heirloom and organic seeds selected for flavor and regional adaptability; and helps people control their food supply through sustainable home and market gardening, seed saving and preservation of heirloom varieties. Ira serves on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF). She is a member of Acorn Community which farms over 60 acres of certified organic land in Central Virginia, growing seeds, alliums, hay, and conducting variety trials for Southern Exposure. She is also an organizer and founder of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. southernexposure.com
Rodger Winn is a certified organic grower who produces heirloom varieties of seed for various seed companies and for preservation. He also runs a seasonal greenhouse business selling vegetable, herb, and flower plants in central South Carolina. When not at his day job, Rodger actively promotes sustainable agriculture by giving seminars and tours to garden clubs about the need to conserve and preserve our resources and environment rodgersheirlooms.com