Thomas Jefferson - The Worst Farmer In Virginia

August 27, 2019

In the upcoming 43.5 issue we have another great bunch of articles.  One that caught my eye during layout this week was an article on Virginia White Gourd Corn that dates back to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.  We have had several other articles this year that also referenced, Thomas Jefferson.


My sister in law is a tour guide at Jefferson’s home, Monticello near Charlottesville, VA.  Monticello is a great historic place to visit and learn about history, science and agriculture.  I was not aware of just how much interest Jefferson had in agriculture. stated in an article on Jefferson, “ He considered himself a farmer by profession and was continually searching for more progressive ways to work his plantations.  Jefferson was always interested in new crops and machinery.  Soil conservation was a particular passion.  He was zealous about the need for farmers to share innovative ideas, improved crops and new machinery.  He invented a more efficient plow but never patented his design so that other farmers could freely benefit from the idea.”

Modern Farmer recently reported “His neighbors called Thomas Jefferson the worst farmer in Virginia, and yet Jefferson dedicated himself to agrarian exploration with a devotion akin to worship.  Which meant many, many failures.  Jefferson understood growing and farming. The failures referenced were in particular his efforts to grow rice in Virginia.


Jefferson had Lewis and Clark bring back and document samples of new plants they found on their expedition so they could be studied and planted.  As I sit back and read about the different varieties of plants and vegetables that were grown at Monticello, I can’t help but think that he was ahead of his time. I would like to think that Jefferson might have enjoyed FARM SHOW and being able to see and share the many innovations our readers develop.