My dream garden sits just a couple miles from my house on a mountain east of town. Whenever I visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, I end up wandering the Vegetable Garden, exploring the rows, making notes about the plants, and ogling the produce. Despite my ardent love for the gardens there, I’d never been on an official tour. So when Monticello invited me to tour the Monticello gardens with Curator of Gardens Eleanor Gould, I was ecstatic.
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It’s high summer, and stepping out into the July afternoon humidity feels roughly similar to taking a bath. The girls helicopter their arms, pretending to swim through the murky air as we head to the pool. The cicadas, ever heat-loving, drone so loudly they interrupt our evening conversations on the stoop. The leaves (and egg yolks) have gone pale from the heat, and the garden insists on a daily drenching.
In this heat, I’d like to forgo food altogether, or subsist on only fruit, but my stomach just isn’t having it. [Read more…]
On a luminous April afternoon, Brian and I took the winding country roads out of town to the Hill and Holler at Blenheim Vineyards Library Series Dinner. Hill and Holler, a Charlottesville dinner event company, puts on dinners at local farms with an ever-changing roster of local chefs. It’s the brainchild of Tracey Love, who is also the head of sales at Blenheim Vineyards, which was a partner for the April event. Arriving early, we had a chance to wander, explore, and take in the sweeping vistas of the historic Blenheim property. [Read more…]
The Saunders Brothers’ orchard is tucked right up against the Blue Ridge Mountains in Nelson County, Virginia; even with gray clouds looming, the views are stunning. Brian, the girls, and I visited their farm market and orchard on a rainy Saturday a few weeks back as part of an article for Saveur, tracing Whole Foods Market’s local produce from orchard to store. [Read more…]