Michelle Obama's White House vegetable garden: By the numbers

It's fall harvest time on the South Lawn. Just what has grown in the first lady's garden since she planted it last spring?

Michelle Obama and local D.C. fifth graders harvest the White House's vegetable garden including sweet potatoes weighing up to four pounds.
(Image credit: Getty)

Michelle Obama, students from a local elementary school, and numerous world-class chefs celebrated the fall harvest this week by plucking turnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and other homegrown goodies from the White House garden. Since it was planted in the spring of 2009, the garden has yielded thousands of pounds of produce that has gone to feed the Obama family, White House guests, and the needy at a local food shelter. The first lady has also used the project educate children about the benefits of fresh food. (Watch Michelle Obama work in the garden.) Here, a numerical look at the Obamas' backyard plot:


Area, in square feet, of the garden — or, about 1/30 of an acre — after a 400-square-foot expansion in the spring of 2010

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Cost of the seeds, mulch, and other supplies needed to start the garden last year, according to the assistant White House chef who oversees it


Number of fifth graders who helped break ground for the garden


Number of different kinds of foods — mostly vegetables — grown in the first year

Synthetic fertilizers or pesticides used — much to the chagrin of conventional farming lobbyists and synthetic pesticide manufacturers

330 and 170

Number of different types of vegetable and fruits, respectively, grown at Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello, which served as an inspiration for the First Lady's project. The Marseille fig, French artichokes, and purple calabash tomatoes were some of Jefferson's favorite picks


Weight, in pounds, of the food the garden produced last year


Weight, in pounds, of the food the garden has produced this year


Number of new vegetables — bok choy, cauliflower, artichokes, and mustard greens — added to the garden in 2010


Weight, in pounds, of a particularly large sweet potato from this season's harvest


Amount of honey, in pounds, the White House beehive had produced, as of April


Cost of the "amazing" boots by "preppy chic" designer Tory Burch worn by the First Lady at this season's harvest festivities

Sources: Christian Science Monitor, Daily Mail, Mercury News, Baltimore Sun, MSNBC, Politics Daily, NBC29.com, Mrs. O, Salon, Politico

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