Thursday, July 12, 2012

Presidenital Peas

Thomas Jefferson is my favorite founding father...AND after twenty years of idleness, I decided to plant a vegetable garden this year.

I know what you're thinking...What in the name of Gertrude Jekyll do these two things have to do with each other?

Let me explain...not only is Jefferson the author of the Declaration of independence, he was also an avid me.

Of all the vegetables in Jefferson's garden his favorite was the Pea. Throughout his life, Jefferson took fastidious notes and kept a detailed account of the many vegetables planted in his garden. According to the Massachusetts Historical Society "Peas are mentioned frequently, in fact, two-thirds of all the pages of the Garden Book (44 of 66 pages) include Jefferson's notes about various types: frame peas, Hotspur peas, cowpeas, marrowfat peas, black eyed peas, and Prussian blue peas".

Some historians believe Jefferson's interest in peas was more than just epicurean and actually sprouted (excuse the pun) from a local contest. The Monticello Association website states that Jefferson often participated in an annual contest "to see which farmer could bring to the table the first peas of the Spring".

In honor of America's greatest founding father I also planted peas in my vegetable garden this year. Truthfully, Jefferson wasn't my only motivation...the fact is I love peas too, especially fresh ones.

My vegetable garden is only 30'X3'. This small size limited me to only one variety of snap pea, nothing compared to Jefferson's varietal indulgence.

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