Mr. Cheese and I were in attendance yesterday, at the 4th annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. We were giddy like kids when we arrived on the grounds and saw the lavish garden beds and tents promising organic
this and fresh pressed that. As noted in the program welcome note, the festival “celebrates the tangible connection between Thomas Jefferson’s legacy in food, wine and gardening and how it is a model for lovers of the earth today.”
There were lectures about mushroom cultivation, sustainable urban gardening and even bread making.
We walked the flower and vegetable gardens and marveled in the work it must take to keep up with it all. We toured some of the dependencies and visited one of the kitchen areas the slaves would have used. In checking out the cook’s room, Mr. Cheese marveled at how it was a pretty nice room for the cook until he read the board stating that the cook was married and had 7 kids and they all lived in that room, together.
We found what must have been the World’s Biggest Tree Trunk, bought the best white wine vinegar (ever!) and reveled in the gorgeous weather and the feeling of community that the festival seemed the provide. Every direction we turned, people were talking about locally grown food, farming and the earth. Music sounded in the background by various folk bands, as well as a couple of violinists standing at the top of the hill by the gardens. My mind was spinning circles around recipe ideas and I originally went there in search of parsnips for a dish I’ll put up here in a week or so. I came home with three huge tomatoes, two red and one green. One of the red was promptly chopped and is sitting in the chili that’s on the stove now and the green one will be fried up, likely Wednesday this week, to be had with homemade roumelade. Those recipes and more new inspirations, will be tried and posted. Peace.