Monday, February 16, 2009

Field Trip

Sunday is the only day that full-time apprentices here on Polyface get time off.  We do chores in the morning and evening, but the rest of the day is freed up for us to run errands, work on personal projects, read, or just rest.  Since Sundays follow Saturdays and Saturday is filled with projects and customer service, Sunday is a nice follow-up for a week of work and a day of sells.  Brings it all full circle.  Usually I go to church at the Hebron Presbyterian Church in the forenoon  and do some shopping in the afternoon.  Not this sunday... this sunday involved a little local history.


Below is a picture... guess where?


Think 5000 acre farm.

Think wonderful garden and gardener.

Think 200 years ago.
 
Think Thomas Jefferson.

You guessed it... Monticello.

Monticello

This Sunday I went to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  I had no idea that Jefferson was such an agrarian.  He said that every farmer should be trying to create a plant that will help better feed mankind.  Of course he did not use genetic engineering, but instead used cross breeding techniques to try and develop this wonder plant.  He never created that plant and died broke with a debt of about 2 million today dollars.  His family had to sell off his possessions, including his slaves, in order to match the debt.
One of the stories I learned about really put into perspective life in the early 1800s.  One of his slave families, the Fossets, was split-up at his death.  Mr. Fosset was one of the blacksmiths on the farm and his wife was the head cook.  In his will Jefferson freed Mr. Fosset but not his family which includes 10 children.  Fosset was able to free his wife and several of the children though not all of them.  I couldn't imagine going through that kind of strife.
I'll leave you with a picture of me behind the house at Monticello.  The one handed handstand has become my way of posing for picture in front of famous places. 

6 comments:

farm mom said...

Hahaha. Great pics. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day off. :)

Tracy said...

Pretty impressive handstand, too! :) Can you hold that pose?

I haven't been able to visit Monticello, but I was similarly impressed with the agrarian nature of the homestead of George Washington when I visited Mount Vernon. I recommend that for one of your trips!

Grady Phelan said...

I used to be able to hold it for a lot longer than now a days. No practice equals bad performance. I looked into joining the circus... seriously... but you have to be an awesome gymnast... something I am not.

Country Girl said...

Very cool, thanks for the lesson. I did not know that about him either. Impressive hand stand, last time I attempted to do a cart wheel I nearly broke my foot.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Great blog, looking forward to reading more about your adventurous year at Polyface.

I think Joel has done more for family farms than anyone!

Jerry said...

I`m just reading through about your year and sensing a kindred spirit.

Looking forward to checking out your other blog too.