Seeds of the South

Explore the deep roots of Southern cuisine at the Heritage Harvest Festival.

Photos courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

You can nibble on heirloom tomatoes, wander through Thomas Jefferson’s vegetable gardens, meet heritage-breed hogs, and learn about artisanal cheesemaking at Monticello’s annual Heritage Harvest Festival on Sept. 21—but this isn’t a typical food fest. The event has a clear mission: to celebrate Jefferson’s legacy and the contributions of his slaves to American cuisine and agriculture. 

Alice Waters

Now in its 13th year, the festival features a diverse group of today’s top chefs, farmers, and gardeners with tent talks and chef demos highlighting the people who are involved in bringing food from farm to table. 

New this year, Monticello is partnering with world-renowned chef Alice Waters to launch the Farm Table café, an edible learning experience rooted in more than 200 years of history and the intersection of American Indian, European, and African cultures that shaped Monticello’s cuisine. “Visitors will enjoy meals incorporating seasonal vegetables and fruits from Monticello’s own gardens while learning about our 21st-century land stewardship and regenerative agricultural practices,” says Monticello’s executive vice president Ann Taylor.

Expect to leave this family-friendly event with expanded knowledge of sustainability, gardening, botanical medicines, edible landscaping, and local foodways, along with the rich culinary history of this breathtaking region. Pick up some rare seeds at the old-timey seed swap, and tour Monticello’s expansive grounds with a refreshed perspective. Tickets starts at $27. HeritageHarvestFestival.com


This article originally appeared in our Smoke + Salt 2019 issue.

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum