Fort Pierce Central (FPC) High School culinary students, from left, Micah Bowen and Madison Moon attended the Annual Heritage Harvest Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia Sept. 6 and 7 at Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson. Culinary instructors Peggy Ash, third from left, and and Barbara Schwenger chaperoned the students and secured funding for this opportunity of a lifetime! Thanks to private backer Daniel Silvis and the Cobra Café, these students participated in such demonstrations as Master Gardeners, lectures and workshops in organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, and seed swap, to name a few. Thomas Jefferson is an American Political Icon who kept meticulous records of his personal interests, travels and studies many relating to horticulture. The detail in these journals allows Jefferson’s horticulture experiments to be studied and shared. Each September his contributions to American Agriculture are celebrated! The FPC team learned how Jefferson was an architect, U.S. President, Vice President, father of University of Virginia, Declaration of Independence writer, U.S. Secretary of State, Governor of Virginia, scientist, French cook connoisseur, and America’s First ‘foodie.’ The FPC team toured historic sites with a local educator, stopping at Lewis and Clark expeditions departure point, early American settlers’ roadways, and University of Virginia campus. The trip ties back to FPC campus 2014 happenings as Dr. Vergote’s chemistry classes partner with Peggy Ash’s culinary classes in hydroponics. The classes will grow lettuces and herbs to cook in Cobra Café recipes! Visiting Monticello to see how Jefferson championed vegetable cuisine, plant experiments and sustainable agriculture helps launch the FPC Hydroponics Collaborative!