The Tidbit

Food Production: Seed Experimentation & Lessons Learned from Thomas Jefferson's Garden

Episode Summary

Thomas Jefferson’s gardening efforts resulted in success and failure. He used his 1,000-ft kitchen garden as a laboratory, growing over 300 types of vegetables. His focus wasn’t profit or production, though; but rather knowledge. Jefferson exchanged seeds with people from all over the world and as a result, introduced new and unusual plants not found elsewhere. One of Monticello's emeritus scholars says that the garden became like an “Ellis Island” of introduced vegetables. On this episode, we explore Monticello's complex history with two academics-in-residence using the garden as an example to highlight the importance of lifelong curiosity, experimentation, and overcoming setbacks.

Episode Notes

Thomas Jefferson’s gardening efforts resulted in success and failure. He used his 1,000-ft kitchen garden as a laboratory, growing over 300 types of vegetables. His focus wasn’t profit or production, though; but rather knowledge. Jefferson exchanged seeds with people from all over the world and as a result, introduced new and unusual plants not found elsewhere. One of Monticello's emeritus scholars says that the garden became like an “Ellis Island” of introduced vegetables. On this episode, we explore Monticello's complex history with two academics-in-residence using the garden as an example to highlight the importance of lifelong curiosity, experimentation, and overcoming setbacks.