Your January Garden: Plan, Prepare, and Start to Plant

Lengthening days and slowly rising temperature call out for early planting. Thomas Jefferson advised sowing a thimble-full of lettuce every Monday from February to September. We like that advice, and extend it a few weeks in each direction to harvest weekly fresh salad year-long. So in mid-January, get started with sowing lettuce and bulb onions […]

Plant and Vegetable Breeding: The New Frontier

Posted by Keith Nevison

This week, I attended a workshop on plant and vegetable breeding to improve varieties for organic growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. The workshop was hosted by NOVIC– the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative, which joins researchers and farmers from the Organic Seed Alliance, the USDA, Oregon State University, Cornell University, Washington State University […]

A Visit to Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Posted by Keith Nevison

On August 22, 2018, staff from Monticello’s Center for Historic Plants visited Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE), a founder and host of the Heritage Harvest Festival and the site where many of the delicious vegetables and fruits are grown for the festival’s Tasting Tent. SESE is located on 72 acres in Mineral, Virginia, on an […]

Bluebirds Thriving at Tufton Farm

Posted by Keith Nevison

Efforts to support bluebirds at Tufton began several years ago through concerted involvement from Ron and Priscilla Kingston and members of the Monticello Bird Club who erected bluebird boxes in the display garden of the Center for Historic Plants. For those who have visited the Center for Historic Plants at Jefferson’s Tufton Farm, you have […]

Magic Melon Grown by Thomas Jefferson

Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray

Bitter melon, or as Thomas Jefferson would have called it – balsam pear – is among one of the most unusual Asian vegetables to grow and taste.  The 8-10 inch, light green, oblong fruit is recognizable by its bumpy appearance.  It also has a distinctly bitter taste. Recently, bitter melon has received a lot of […]

Okra and Edible Oils at Monticello

Posted by Chris Smith

When people struggle with their gardens, I always tell them not to worry. The great thing about gardening is that there is always next year! Keep good notes, learn from your mistakes, and every year you’ll develop as a gardener. What I have come to realize more recently, is that there is a wealth of […]