Gardening with Mr. Jefferson: Sustaining an Independent Nation with Useful Plants (INST 2550-004)
Tuesdays from 4-6pm, September 13-November 8, 2011
Lily Fox-Bruguière and Rachael Dealy Salisbury
In this Hereford Residential College short-course, we will examine the collection of useful plants housed at the Thomas Jefferson Demonstration Garden, placing it within the broader contexts of sustainability, traditional agricultural practices, the history of botanical gardens, and Jefferson’s gardening legacy. Special attention will be paid to plants and their uses, and students will participate in two hands-on workshops: “Plant-Based Dyes,” with local textile artist Lotta Helleberg, and “Plant-Based Textiles,” with Monticello head vegetable gardener Pat Brodowski. Trips to the Academical Village, Special Collections, Monticello, and the Center for Historic Plants will round out the experience. Discussion topics will include the continued importance of plants, Jefferson’s plans for a botanical garden at the University, improving soil and produce through an all-seasons approach, and the similarities and differences between 18th- and 21st-century sustainable living.
Gardening in Winter
Elaine Durand and Lily Fox-Bruguière
This Hereford Residential College short course introduces students to the principles of four-season gardening as developed by organic farmer Eliot Coleman. Students will gain hands-on gardening experience by applying Coleman’s methods in the Thomas Jefferson Demonstration Garden, where correlations between the gardening techniques of Coleman and Jefferson will be observed. Special features include a behind-the-scenes field trip to Monticello, a visit by Coleman himself, and a guest lecture by Mike Parisi of Blue Ridge Backyard Harvest. Additionally, students will enjoy preparing and feasting on a garden-to-table meal at semester’s end.
Designing the Thomas Jefferson Demonstration Garden
Nancy Takahashi, Lily Fox-Bruguière and Rachael Dealy Salisbury
Offered through the School of Architecture, this course will consider Jefferson’s intent to install a botanical garden at the University as a starting point, leading to the conception of a small-scale, Jefferson-based teaching garden located on University grounds. Students will become familiar with Jefferson’s work and will use a list of Jefferson-documented plants to inform the layout and design of the Thomas Jefferson Demonstration Garden.
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