Thomas Jefferson's Garden - No Vegetables?

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, Third President of the United States, and well known "man of the land," kept tight control over his estate's farming plan. Over the weekend in rural Virginia, Coach Kim flipped through a family book about Jefferson and discovered a document that laid out the garden planting schedule at Monticello. Curiously, vegetables are missing! 

For an advanced society, Americans have developed, and most live by, a poorly thought out classification system of foods. This week, our focus on your metabolism is based on a wide array of "edible botanicals" at your fingertips that strays from the typical vegetables, fruits, and grains system in most kitchens today. Our goal this week is to help you learn a more appropriate way to classify the foods your body craves for overall function, disease mitigation, and of course, a more efficient metabolism.

Whether you like it or not, Mother Nature endowed the earth with enough plants to feed and heal humans almost entirely. In Jefferson's time, the planting schedule was based on growing items that could be consumed based on three categories: fruits, roots, and leaves. And the reason is this: any edible crop that is produced from a flower and that houses its own seeds is a fruit. The other edible parts of a plant, the roots, and the stems and leaves are used to the degree that they are tasty, and the climate and seasons of the year dictated variety. There was no distinction between "fruit" and "vegetable."

The US Government didn't start advising families about food until the mid 20th century when the now divinely followed classification between fruits and vegetables took shape. Based simply on what is sweet and what isn't, fruits were generally relegated to breakfast and snacking. The crowning achievement of vegetables was to accompany main courses at all other meals. 

Seeds and nuts were largely left for people to figure out on their own. Grains got their own category, though we all know how that turned out. Since most homemakers cook with a limited number of ingredients and since manufactured meals have increased in prevalence, the standard American diet has steadily decreased in nourishment value.

Check out our table of edible botanicals and keep it handy for shopping and food selection when you are out. We know that you are busy but more and more evidence highlights our problematic approach to quick nutrition through fast food, manufactured meals, and supplements. Moreover, lifestyle issues for which we generally choose medicine as a remedy are proving to produce nefarious side effects related to metabolic inefficiencies. Real food can reverse this trend.

Happy as always to answer any questions you have, please shoot an email to Coach Kim at