The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Organic farmer managing White House garden

Matt Burch

Matt Burch

(Eddie Gehman Kohan / Obama Foodorama)

First Lady Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden is thriving with a wide variety of cool-season vegetables — winter lettuces and cabbages, root vegetables and herbs —planted under the direction of Matt Burch, an organic farmer who has been hired by the National Park Service to be in charge of the garden, Obama Foodorama reported today.

Hoop houses — aluminum hoops placed over the beds and covered with plastic sheeting — will be installed to house other winter vegetables soon, said Burch, who left his duties at his own organic Lei-Kei Farm in Clear Brook, Va., to join the Park Service.

The White House garden is not certified organic, but follows organic principles. Burch’s primary responsibility is to manage the first lady’s “vegucation” project to teach children about vegetables, but he also works on other White House gardens if needed, Obama Foodorama said.