Tour the White House Kitchen Garden

On a 1,700-square-foot-patch of the White House South Lawn, more than 50 varieties of fruits, greens, vegetables, herbs -- and even pollinator flowers -- yield fresh ingredients for the First Family throughout the year, with one-third of the harvest supplying homeless individuals with nutritious meals.

Byline: Written by Debra Prinzing, photographed by Bob Stefko

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    Garden with a View

    Planted in 2009 by Mrs. Obama, this modern-era Kitchen Garden thrives in the spirit of a true garden, one that's meant to be harvested and enjoyed. The garden is designed to stimulate a national conversation around the health and well-being of children and families -- an idea that evolved into the Let's Move! initiative. Here, the White House Kitchen Garden offers glimpses of the Washington Monument in the distance. 

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    Variety and Abundance

    Knit together like a delicious patchwork quilt, the White House Kitchen Garden is the first food garden to occupy the grounds of the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's World War II Victory Garden in the 1940s.

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    Words of Inspiration

    This Thomas Jefferson quotation, a favorite of Mrs. Obama, inspired her to create the four-season edible garden.

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    Watch Your Step

    Well-groomed walkways invite visitors to stroll along the garden's verdant plantings. This curving stepping-stone path meanders through kale and pepper beds.

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    Harvest Time

    Here, one day's worth of colorful and flavorful harvest spills from a basket. It's an inspiring symbol for the American-grown movement, providing schoolchildren, their teachers, and families with hands-on experience about planting, cooking, and eating a healthy diet right from the backyard.

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    Descendant of the Thomas Jefferson Garden

    Hyacinth bean is an ornamental tropical vine growing in the Thomas Jefferson bed. Some of the first seeds planted here were heirloom varieties passed on from Monticello, President Thomas Jefferson's home and garden in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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    Pollinator Garden

    This long, narrow bed measuring 200 square feet is home to the Pollinator Garden, which provides nectar, seeds, and habitat for beneficial insects and birds.

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    More for You

    To learn more about the White House Kitchen Garden, or to arrange a tour, visit their website.

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