Presidential Gardens

The Presendital Garden has a long-standing tradition dating back to our founding fathers. Many presidents had the "gardening bug" and put the White House grounds to that use over the years.

White houseAlthough our country's first president, George Washington, earned the moniker, "The Botanist President", because he was, as some described him, "plant crazy", it wasn't until the residency of John Adams, the first president to live in the White House, that an "official" White House garden was planted. Adams planted the first vegetable garden on the grounds to feed his family rather than buying produce at the market. Subsequent presidents added their own touch to the grounds. Thomas Jefferson started the tradition of planting trees around the White House, and Rutherford B. Hayes took that a step further with the tradition of planting commemorative trees. Andrew Jackson even built a glass greenhouse to grow tropical fruit.

Though White House occupants can, at the snap of their fingers, get any fruit or vegetable brought in from outside sources, they have continued, through the years to set an example for the people that growing your own food is beneficial and rewarding. And, that is how it was done through the ages, until more recent history and the dawn of giant commercial farms.

In 2009, the Obamas reverted back to a "grow your own" mentality, and planted the first major vegetable garden since Roosevelt. The garden took an additional role of educating children about the benefits of home-grown, pure food, and in turn, tackling childhood obesity. Besides the harvest being used at the White House, part of the garden's produce was donated to soup kitchens and food banks. Inspired by the First Lady's passion for healthful living, more and more people across the country have been starting their own vegetable gardens at home.

In this fast-paced age of modern conveniences, buying produce at the grocery store has become so easy. But people everywhere are realizing that having and tending a garden, be it large or small, is a fun, satisfying experience with unparalleled rewards.

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