As the First Lady has explained, "This is really what the White House is all about. It’s the 'People’s House.' It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that's why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can."
Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil "morale booster" — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens become a part of daily life on the home front.
First Lady Michelle Obama and White House chef Sam Kass tell the story of the first garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War II. This new garden was planted in the Spring of 2009 with the help of local elementary school children and has yielded a constant supply fresh produce for the First Family and White House events.
Note: If you are interested in attending a White House Garden Tour, tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis on the days that we are opening the gardens and grounds to visitors.
- Friday, October 19th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and
- Saturday, October 20th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
These Garden Tours are free; however, a ticket is required for all attendees (including small children). The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on each tour day beginning at 8:00 AM. Tickets will be distributed -- one ticket per person -- on a first-come, first-served basis.