On August 20, 1811 Thomas Jefferson wrote to Charles Willson Peale
“I have often thought that if heaven had given me choice of my position and calling, it should have been on a rich spot of earth, well watered, and near a good market for the productions of the garden. No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. Such a variety of subjects, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another, and instead of one harvest a continued one through the year. Under a total want of demand except for our family table, I am still devoted to the garden. But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.“
Here is the entire letter. http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/thomas-jefferson/letters-of-thomas-jefferson/jefl211.php
If you would like to learn more about Thomas Jefferson the gardener I recommend this book!
“A Rich Spot of Earth”
Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello by Peter J. Hatch
“Peter Hatch’s vibrant and enthusiastic passion for preserving Thomas Jefferson’s farming legacy at Monticello reminds us all of the time-tested continuity and historical root of this kind of agriculture.”
– Alice Waters, from the Foreword
Once last thing to share; a wonderful article by Graham Smith with slide show and audio link to All Things Considered story about Thomas Jefferson’s garden at Monticello, host Melissa Block chats with head gardener Peter J. Hatch.