Wednesday, February 5, 2014

5th graders plant heirloom seeds

Today some 5th graders planted heirloom seeds that were popular in Thomas Jefferson's time.
They planted Painted Lady Sweet Peas and Prince Albert Peas. The sweet peas were brought to England from Sicily in 1699. Jefferson planted them in his garden at Monticello in 1811. Prince Albert peas were the most popular variety of English peas in the mid-19th century. This type is said to be identical to Early Frame, Jefferson's favorite pea, which he used when he had pea contests with his neighbors.

Both of the plants are cool season plants.  We obtained the seeds from the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Monticello. We reinforced the meaning of heirloom plants and also the name of Jefferson's residence in Virginia.

We planted the English peas in the middle of the bed and surrounded them by the sweet peas, hoping that the squirrels don't find the peas!

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