Founding Foodie

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

T. J. The First Foodie

A few years back I went to see what type of garden our third President, Thomas Jefferson, had created to establish himself as the “Founding Foodie”.


David Proctor


From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!




T. J. The First Foodie

by David Proctor

 November 17, 2022

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

 I went to the annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. 





I looked at the information that was available to see just what went on at an event like this and it was amazing how many vendors and speakers were lined up to present topics from fermentation to seed swapping and of course the Monticello garden.


Flowering Plant



I started out by walking through the garden. 

I was amazed at the restoration of this 1000-foot-long garden with its 330 varieties of vegetables. 

The garden had fallen into disrepair after Thomas Jefferson died. 

The land had been sold to pay off debts and the garden went by the wayside.


Monticello Garden

Monticello Garden


The garden’s restoration has been possible in part due to Thomas Jefferson’s extensive records that he kept in his garden. 

The garden is an amazing thing to witness, especially with the backdrop of the mountains and hillsides.


Monticello Garden

Monticello Garden


From the garden, I strolled through the vendors and up to the large tents by the house, which had the heirloom tomato tasting. 

I don’t think I have seen so many varieties of tomatoes in my life. 

Everyone that I tasted, tasted great.


Seed Saver

Tomato Tasting Tent


The next tent had different vendors with cheese, jelly, chocolates, Pawpaw tasting, (the largest edible fruit native to the US), and Kombucha.

“Kombucha is a fermented tea, made from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).

Naturally effervescent and served cold, it contains probiotics, amino acids, and active enzymes.”


Vendor Tent

Vendor Tent


I saw in one tent a seed swap going on. 

The people at this location were very intent on exchanging and or finding new seed varieties. 

I was out of my league here so I left.


Seed Swap Tent

Seed Swap Tent


Joel Salatin, from Polyface Farm, was one of the speakers on the main stage and gave an interesting point of view of the good and the bad of Thomas Jefferson.


Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin


All in all, this has been a fascinating trip and an amazing learning experience to witness firsthand the history of Monticello and the culinary diversity that Thomas Jefferson had created.


T J Garden

T J Garden


Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying “The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”





This may not be your normal garden, but it has inspired many to create and experiment with plants and to find that useful plants for our culture.


Useful Plant

Useful Plant

Check It Out!

Jefferson’s Garden Book 37:39
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Quick Tip


Support Seed Savers

A nonprofit organization out of Decorah, Iowa
 Mission Statement:

“Is to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.



“Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.” Historic Gardens. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2022.

“Our Mission.” Seed Savers Exchange. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2022.


Posted in Health, Homesteading, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , , , , ,

Sign Up To Receive The Free Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine