On August 23rd, 1785, in a letter to John Jay, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
|“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, & they are tied to their country & wedded to its liberty & interests by the most lasting bands.” (click here to see the complete letter)|
217 years later, America suddenly agrees with this sentiment more than ever. Homesteading, the act of self-reliantly returning to the land, is experiencing a renaissance. Farmers markets are enjoying unprecedented popularity, and demand for local food currently exceeds supply. In short, the same values that Jefferson appreciated in his lifetime are -at long last- being celebrated by the rest of the world. Clearly, the man was ahead of his time, but two centuries of advance warning tips the scale of prescience.
On July 3rd, 2012, my family and I visited Jefferson’s home and farm, Monticello, a scenic two hour drive from my farm. Here’s a short photo essay that adds 21st century insight to 18th century Jeffersonian wisdom.