The White House gets a kitchen garden.

Nothing rounds out a happy home like a planting a garden and getting a dog (two things I surely wish I could do, but alas, not yet). Shortly after moving into the White House, Michelle Obama announced plans to plant a vegetable garden. I can imagine the stir this may have caused among landscaping purists, but I’m all for it. Get the country interested in being self-sustainable again. Industrialization of food has made the “modern” world lazy and so far removed from food origins that some people can’t make the connection between a real live chicken and a McNugget. Allow me to let you in on a little secret: chickens don’t have nuggets.

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more about “The Garden of Eatin’ Video“, posted with vodpod

Recent post-industrial presidents haven’t done much to improve American nutritional understanding. As I recall, President Regan declared that ketchup is a vegetable, thus making our school lunches instantly more nutritious. In 1990, Bush senior publicly denounced broccoli, banning it from Air Force One and declaring, “I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”* I think it’s about dang time a First Lady got involved in the kitchen doing something other than buying new White House china.

According to the White House Blog, Michelle Obama and 12 students from the DC area broke ground for the new White House Kitchen Garden in March, 2009. The students will continue to help develop the garden, growing vegetables to be used in the White House Kitchen. Produce from the garden will also be sent to Miriam’s Kitchen, which prepares meals and provides services for the homeless in Washington, DC. Well done, First Lady!

And how does the garden grow?

White House Garden

With lettuces and spinach and sugar snap peas, salad fixins and shallots, onions (of course), collard greens and kale, and carrots, too. There’s a bed full of broccoli (no Bushes allowed!) and a big section for herbs, as well. There’s a rhubarb bed, and a separate section for mint (which grows like a weed and will take over the place if you let it). Along the edges are plantings of edible flowers: nasturtiums and zinnias and marigolds. Bugs are repelled by marigolds, too. My sisters plant them next to their tomatoes. The First Lady also has plans for a berry patch and a beehive. Wouldn’t it be fun to have some White House Honey?

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Garden Layout from the White House Blog, cropped and colorized by me.
*Maureen Dowd, “I’m President, So No More Broccoli.” The New York Times: March 23, 1990.

Post Script: NY Times article from March ’09 reveals President Obama does not like beets, but arugula is okay. I rather agree. 8)


11 responses to “The White House gets a kitchen garden.

  1. Pingback: See Also: The White House Dog: Bo Comes Home

  2. Remember watching the Victory Garden? Loved that show. And the beardy men on it. I’m all for a salad garden next to the house, and wish I could plant more food. Cute videos. Love you lots. Eat organic!

    • curiousdomestic

      Saturdays on PBS. And those two country cooks . . . I can’t remember their names, but they were a hoot.

    • Sissy Linda

      Larry and Laban on “Cooking Cheap”. Loved them, but they made strange choices to cook. Sponsored by K rogers!

    • curiousdomestic

      Right! Cookin’ Cheap was so funny. I can’t remember who was Larry and who was Laban, but I kinda miss watching them. That was back when PBS was the only “food network.”

      Hey I found their website!

  3. isn’t it great I also posted on it, thats cool one of your neighbors raise highland cows they are magnificent animals, like your blog Rebecca

    • curiousdomestic

      The response to the garden has been favourable and widespread, it seems. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. no wonder everybody seems to love Michelle Obama. That woman’s got brains!

  5. A garden, even if it’s just a pot on the balcony or a sunny spot in the kitchen, is doable for everyone! We have our little raised garden with just tomatoes and herbs but it’s more than enough for our needs. 😎

  6. Larry was the thinner one with dark hair. Loved Cookin’ Cheap. I’ve made innumerable batches of their “nameless candy” since the ’70s…aka Chewy Charlies, No-Bake Cookies. You should always cook with love. It’s good food karma. I planted a token tomato in my “tree garden”. The dead tree is great habitat, so to dissuade the landlord from axing it, it is hung with bird feeders. I scrounged rocks from yon pasture, ringed said tree with them and filled in with soil. Gourds, sweet peas and ivy can clmour all over the place. Should be interesting. Now I have to get a token marigold for the token tomato. Got to keep up w/ the sisters. Love you.

    • curiousdomestic

      I haven’t had Chewy Charlies since grade school. The tree garden sounds cool. Long live the dead tree.

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