"A Rich Spot of Earth"

Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello

By Peter J. Hatch; Alice Waters (Foreword by)
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300171143, 280pp.)

Publication Date: March 26, 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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A gorgeous volume showcasing Jefferson's amazing vegetable garden, its uniquely American characteristics, and its legacy

About the Author

As Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello since 1977, Peter J. Hatch has been responsible for the maintenance, interpretation, and restoration of its 2,400-acre landscape. He has written several previous books on Jefferson's gardens and is an advisor for First Lady Michelle Obama's White House kitchen garden. He lives in Charlottesville, VA.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thomas Jefferson's garden was a vast, beautiful science experiment involving over 300 varieties of 90 different plants. And no gardening detail was too small for Jefferson to note in the gardening journal he kept for nearly 60 years. More at NPR.org

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Praise For "A Rich Spot of Earth"

"Peter Hatch's vibrant and enthusiastic passion for preserving Thomas Jefferson's farming legacy at Monticello reminds us all of the time-tested continuity and historical root of this kind of agriculture."—Alice Waters
-Alice Waters

“In this fascinating book, Peter Hatch wonderfully weaves together his deep understanding of Monticello’s soil with his scholarly knowledge of Jefferson’s legacy as a gardener.”—Andrea Wulf, author of Founding Gardeners
-Andrea Wulf

“Peter Hatch is the ultimate authority on America’s ultimate vegetable garden.  Learn all about the genius of the place.  Hatch’s fascinating account will enrich your garden and your life.”—Amy P. Goldman, Chair of the Board, Seed Savers Exchange
-Amy P. Goldman

"Peter Hatch brings the horticultural legacy of Thomas Jefferson to life.  A Rich Spot of Earth affords us a clear and compelling view into the revolutionary thinking of Jefferson, illuminating for the reader his approach to food, diversity, democracy, and freedom – making the genius of Jefferson, perhaps, as relevant today as at any other time in American history."—P. Allen Smith, author of The Garden Home Series
-P. Allen Smith

"Elegantly produced and artfully augmented by stunning, evocative photographs of the estate and the bounty it produces, Hatch’s homage establishes Jefferson as the clear forefather of modern organic and sustainable garden movements."—Carol Haggas, Booklist
-Carol Haggas

"...there is much interesting archive material, and pleasing vegetable still-lifes composed with the care of a Dutch master."—Ambra Edwards, Gardens Illustrated
-Ambra Edwards

 "Beautifully illustrated, authoritative. . . . It is wonderful to find out that the man who contributed so much to the republic in which we live also set his contemporaries—and posterity—such a salutary example in other ways as well."—Martin Rubin, Washington Times
-Martin Rubin

"Elegantly produced and artfully augmented by stunning, evocative photographs of the estate and the bounty it produces, Hatch's homage establishes Jefferson as the clear forefather of modern organic and sustainable garden movements."—Carol Haggas, Booklist, Starred Review
-Carol Haggas

"A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello presents a rarely seen side of the man. Here is Jefferson with mud-splattered boots laying out garden beds and carefully setting seeds with dirty hands: a Founding Father not on a lofty pedestal, but joyfully competing with neighbors in an annual contest to see who could bring the first spring peas to table."—David Maurer, Richmond Times-Dispatch
-David Maurer

"Breathtaking. The photos are beautiful, the research is impeccable, and the story is captivating. From a historian's perspective, Hatch provides a new depth to the understanding of Jefferson's character. From a gardener's perspective, the book serves as an inspiration to grow and treasure heirlooms."—Heirloom Adventures Blog

"The book is absolutely beautiful and tells a fascinating story. It provides pure pleasure for those interested in tasty food lavishly presented. And it opens up a new and interesting way of thinking about Jefferson, the Founding Father who remains most relevant and malleable for Americans."—Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns, and Money Blog
-Erik Loomis

"Digging deep into our long, illustrious tradition of presidential dirt. . . .A Rich Spot of Earth lovingly describes the 1000-foot terraced vegetable garden that was restored to its 1812 appearance under the author's able direction."—Dominique Browning, New York Times Book Review
-Dominique Browning

Winner of a 2013 American Horticultural Society Book Award.
-American Horticultural Society Book Award

Winner, Silver Award of Achievement from the 2013 Garden Writers Association Media Awards Program.
-Silver Award of Achievement

Winner, 2013 Annual Book Award, The Colonial Dames of America
-Annual Book Award

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