Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our trip to Monticello part two and a giveaway

When I was researching our trip to Virginia, I went off on multiple rabbit trails of things to do while we were there.  Our original plan was to go to only to Williamsburg.  While running down rabbit trails, I came across the site for the Monticello Heirloom Harvest Festival.  As Thomas had written in one of the comments, 'Monticello is the mecca for gardeners'.  How could I pass up going there and seeing the wonderful gardens? 

I continued to look at the list of things to do and realized that Sharon Astyk was one of the speakers.  Sharon is someone whose blog I started to read several year ago.  She's a peak oil writer and when I first started reading, she completely freaked me out.  As time went by, what she said started to make more sense to me.  Her writing helped me to formulate more of a plan for how my gardens, preserving and many other things would impact my life. 

Her talk was on her book A Nation of Farmers that she wrote with Aaron Newton.  It is based on many of the teaching of Thomas Jefferson, so was quite apt for  a talk at Monticello.  The tent was actually in the gardens. 

She spoke about how far many of us have come in our food supply, and how far we have to go.  She talked quite a bit about the age of farmers and the fact that for the first time ever, we will have our food raised primarily by people who did not grow up on farms.  As farmers age and their kids don't take over, newbies are taking over those farms and basically starting from scratch.  Instead of having knowledge passed down from generation to generation, we're trying to figure things out for ourselves.  Starting from scratch so to speak.

Thomas Jefferson believed that we needed to be a nation of farmers.  He felt that if we weren't intimately involved in our food production, that as a nation we would be sick and out of touch. 

I wish that I could have gone to her second talk.  It was on food preservation and based in part on another of her books called Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation.  My copy is very well worn. 

When we went to Monticello, I brought my Independence Days book with me for Sharon to sign.  Somehow, I had forgotten to bring A Nation of Farmers.  We caught up with Sharon prior to her talk and she signed my Independence Days book for me.  Hubby then watched the kids as I braved the tasting tent to get some seeds.  While there, Hubby apparently decided that I needed to have both books signed, so he bought a second copy to have her sign.  So, now I have 2. 

That brings us to the giveaway. 

You see, I now have 2 copies of this wonderful book.  I decided that this would be a wonderful opportunity for my to give this copy away.  So, to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling me what you would love to see most at Monticello.  I'll giveaway the book next Tuesday, so please make sure that I have a way to get in touch with you. 


meemsnyc said...

That looks like such an amazing visit! I have always wanted to visit Thomas Jefferson's home. I've seen pictures but never been there. I would love to see the layout of the gardens.

Karen Anne said...

I'd like to queue up.

I'd like to see everything about Monticello, the gardens and the house, and the slave quarters if they still exist. I would really like to know what it must have been like on a day to day basis being a slave there.

kitsapFG said...

What a great place to visit and the speaker sounds like someone I would have been totally into. Got me interested to read her books now. Definitely toss my hat into the give away as I will be looking for this book regardless.

email contact - modernvictorygarden@gmail.com

Thomas said...

I have always wanted to visit Monticello. I think many of Thomas Jefferson's techniques are timeless and would work every well in on a small scale farming operation. I'm dying to see his use of lattices and supports made from rough reclaimed wood and branches.

I sounds like you had a wonderful time. Hopefully, all of us veggie gardeners are contributing to Jefferson's mission on our own small way.

Mexico in my kitchen said...

First than all. Thank you for visiting my blog.

I very much agree about the author speech. Just yesterday my husband and I were talking about how more people will become farmers, and slowly more young people will be doing it.

So, Thomas Jefferson saw the future. More people is getting sick and out of touch of realty with nature.

Great post.

And for Monticello for sure I would love to visit the house, the gardens and the plantation.

Have a blessed weekend.


♥ Pacy said...

I would love to visit there again. Last time I was to young to remenber. I think I would love to see the gardens and his kitchen.