Heritage Harvest Festival: The Thomas Jefferson Tribute to Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture Rules the Day at Heritage Harvest Festival

Heritage Harvest FestivalThe third president of the US, Thomas Jefferson, left behind a diverse legacy! A prominent political figure and the author of the Declaration of the Independence, Jefferson’s life interests weren’t confined to the political arena.

In fact, his interests were as wide and as big as the life he led. At the top of that list was sustainable agriculture, followed by vegetable cuisine, and plant experimentation. Jefferson loved the land and man’s essential relationship to it!

For the last 12 years, Monticello has paid tribute to Jefferson’s love of gardening with the Heritage Harvest Festival. This is an all-day affair that promotes organic gardening, local food, sustainability, and the preservation of heritage plants.

Be sure to check out the event schedule because there is so much to see and do! There are 21 different presentations on gardening and culinary fun, including:

  • Chef demonstrations including acclaimed Ian Boden of The Shack
  • Chef Demos Heritage Harvest Festival
  • Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms
  • The Old Timey Seed Swap
  • Tasting Tent–Taste hundreds of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and melons. Savor the taste of local artisan jams, chocolates, and honey.
  • Historic kitchen presentations
  • Invigorating the landscape

And much more! There’s also a petting zoo for kids as well as historic children’s games.

The Heart of the Heritage Harvest Festival

The heart of this wonderful festival is education, the educational programs on seed saving, heirloom varieties, botanical medicine, edible landscaping, and other aspects of sustainable living.

Included with your admission are interpretative tours of the restored Monticello garden, a 1000-foot long vegetable garden. You can also tour the ornamental mountaintop landscape, and enjoy specialty tours on native plants and natural history. 

If you love food and the community that it creates, the Heritage Harvest Festival is a full day to experience past traditions, but also to pick up a few new traditions to take home with you!

The festival takes place September 22nd from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.  BUT, on Thursday and Friday, you can find off-site workshops such as:

  • Garden and Garlic at Forrest Green Farm
  • Between the Orchard and the Glass: A Talk, Tour & Tasting at Albemarle CiderWorks
  • Simmering Succotash: A Taste of History on the Open Hearth
  • Shrubs and Switchels: Colonial Drinks for Modern Times

And a whole lot more. See the Friday and Saturday program offerings here.

Each year, guests of the Iris Inn love this family-friendly, fun, and highly informative event. And you’ll love it too! Make plans to attend now. Reserve your lodging accommodations with us and enjoy the community that food always serves up.