Thomas Jefferson prided himself a gardener, always experimenting with new crops in his large vegetable gardens at Monticello and Poplar Forest. One crop that was a staple of Jefferson’s gardens was the English Pea which was a harbinger of spring. Jefferson’s Albemarle County neighbors annually engaged in a friendly gardening competition to see whose peas would sprout first. The winner of the contest would then host dinner for the other contestants featuring the prize winning peas.
The winner most often was his neighbor George Divers although one of Jefferson’s grandsons recalled, “A wealthy neighbor…generally triumphed. Mr. Jefferson, on one occasion had them first, and when his family reminded him that it was his right to invite the company, he replied, ‘No, say nothing about it, it will be more agreeable to our friend to think that he never fails.”
Now you can join Thomas Jefferson himself in his beloved retreat home as we celebrate the first peas of the year at our Spring Harvest Dinner on March 23rd at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy a catered meal by Peakland Catering with wine pairings while conversing with Jefferson, as portrayed by veteran interpreter Bill Barker.
Must beat least 21 to attend. Dress is business casual. Reservations are required to attend and must be made by March 18th due to catering considerations.
- Spinach salad with strawberries, feta, candied nuts, and balsamic dressing
- Cheddar and Herb Biscuits
- Chicken Fricassee with peas with garlic butter sauce and cheesy risotto
- Berry Custard Tart