Our History

Monticello’s 14th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival has been reimagined to air as a virtual series of food, farm and garden classes and conversations.

The history of this nationally recognized event is rich with tradition, providing an array of experiences designed to educate, engage the senses and delight the taste buds of visitors from around the country.

Formerly a two-day occasion, Friday Workshops featured diverse subject experts teaching hands-on classes on subjects as diverse as woodfire cooking, beekeeping, flower arranging, winter gardening classes and more. On Saturday’s main festival day, fun, celebratory and sometimes difficult conversations with ground-breaking presenters were delivered as “tent talks” on Monticello’s West Lawn. Topics included subjects as diverse as food justice and insecurity; lessons from the family kitchen; African-American foodways; chef demos; organic gardening; and Jefferson’s complicated legacy as both a Founder and forward thinking farmer, but also a plantation owner who profited from the labor of the enslaved people who produced Monticello’s monoculture cash crops.

We kept these traditions close when designing  this year’s virtual programs, which will continue to emphasize the power of place at Monticello. We look forward to celebrating the harvest together at these exciting events  – from wherever you may be.