Peppers in the Monticello Garden

In Gardening, Stories by Dave DeWitt1 Comment

Head Gardener Pat and I Show Off Peppers at the Monticello GardenWe’re here at the 1,000 foot-long garden at Monticello, where tradition is being preserved by continuing to grow Thomas Jefferson’s favorite plant varieties, including cayennes and chilipiquins, which Jefferson called “Texas bird peppers.”  In addition, Pat, the head gardener and I show off some sweet Italian frying peppers.  Jefferson was way ahead of his time in loving tomatoes, which had a bad reputation in 1809, and for chiles, which were thought to have originated in Africa.  They didn’t, of course, being native to the Western Hemisphere.

To read more about Jefferson’s pepper garden at Monticello, go to the SuperSite article here for an excerpt from Peter J. Hatch’s excellent book, “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello.

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Publisher | Christened the "Pope of Peppers" by The New York Times, Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods.

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  1. Willard Bridgham

    The texas bird chile is actually a tepin. Very similar to a piquin. I have grown this chile for years after purchasing it at Monticello.

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