Kids Explore Farm to Table Jefferson Style

August 7, 2014

Learning about farm to table through the lens of one of America's founding fathers; that was the goal of Monticello's "Let's Go Cook" class.

A dozen kids met at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Thursday morning to pick produce harvested by Jefferson himself.

"Gardening is part of Jefferson's legacy here in America. We consider him to be the founding foodie here in Charlottesville, and he really brought gardening and farming into what it means to live here in America," said Monticello manager of events Leah Sumrall.

The kids, who ranged in age from four to 10, explored the historic garden, which is categorized as Jefferson had it in 1812, by roots, fruits, and leaves.

"We both picked kale, and then we took a walk through the garden and looked at all the plants. We saw some like we have in our garden, like arugula," said 10-year-old Ava Santiago, who was joined by her grandparents and younger brother, who enjoying picking, and eating, basil.

After finishing in the garden the group cooked favorite recipes of the Jefferson family using the produced they had picked.

"There is a lot for kids to learn from Jefferson's time period," said garden curator Eleanor Gould. "Connecting them to where food comes from, and to Jefferson, and this history of our country, it's all really exciting."

For the children, perhaps their favorite part, taking a bite out of history.

"My favorite thing; well that was everything," said five-year-old Cooper Greenhalgh.

There will be more opportunities to explore the gardens, and recipes of Thomas Jefferson, as Monticello will host the annual Heritage Harvest Festival September 12th and 13th.

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