Last week when the White House garden was replanted for the season, it included a Thomas Jefferson Bed. Vegetables planted in that bed are believed to be favorites of the third president, who was also an avid gardener.
The Monticello online store is offering the Monticello Kitchen Garden Sampler White House Edition that contains all the right seeds for a Thomas Jefferson Bed. The seed packet contains Tennis-ball Lettuce, Prickly Seeded Spinach, Red Calico lima beans, Sesame, Globe Artichoke and Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage.
The online description of the seed packet explains the influence of Jefferson’s gardens at Monticello on the White House garden.
Michelle Obama recently declared that the White House kitchen garden “has been one of the greatest things I’ve done in my life so far.” An admirer of Thomas Jefferson and inspired by a visit to the Monticello garden, White House Chef and Coordinator of the White House Food Initiative, Sam Kass, reserved a discrete section of this garden in honor of Thomas Jefferson. In the spring of 2009, it was planted with seeds and plants of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite vegetable varieties. The Jefferson legacy in gardening and food is not a mere historical curiosity, but a compelling force in the movement toward a more sustainable agricultural future.
The price for the seed packet is $18, and the proceeds support Monticello and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation's mission of preservation and education. Last summer, my family visited the sustainable kitchen gardens at Monticello, and this organization is certainly worth supporting.