Friday, March 20, 2009


The Obamas will eat the view! Today on the first day of spring, Michelle Obama will be joined by a group of third graders to break ground on a kitchen garden to be grown on the White House lawn.

The Washington Post says Today, first lady Michelle Obama will host a groundbreaking for a White House kitchen garden on the South Lawn. She will be joined by students from Bancroft Elementary in Northwest Washington, , whose participation in the project will continue past today, as they help with planting in the coming weeks and harvesting later this year.

The 1,100-square-foot garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables, including peppers, spinach and, yes, arugula. (The selection is a wish list put together by White House chefs.) There will also be berries, herbs and two hives for honey that will be tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The chefs will use the produce to feed the first family, as well as for state dinners and other official events.

The White House will use organic seedlings, as well as organic fertilizers and organic insect repellents. The garden will be near the tennis courts and be visible to passersby on the street. The whole Obama family will be involved in tending the garden, White House spokeswoman Katie McCormick Lelyveld said.

Although considerably smaller, our new veggie garden is official! This week I planted peas, radishes, and a few of the more cold-tolerant of the gazillions of varieties of lettuce seeds I have. AND the life-changing garlic I planted last fall is sprouting!

I can't say for sure which garden I'm more excited about. Obviously I'm very excited about my own little kitchen garden, and I hope it may even inspire neighbors to consider planting their own small plot. Except for the last five years I've always had a veggie garden. Having one here now, however small, is better than Christmas.

The White House garden has far more inspiration potential than mine. Growing an organic kitchen garden on the White House lawn could inspire millions in their own backyards, inspire teachers and children to plant gardens in their schoolyards, and further energize the community garden, locavore, organic farming, and environmental movements, as well as helping independent nurseries who still have time to start more veggies, order more seeds, and plan kitchen garden workshops and promotions to energize their businesses during this economic downturn.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who signed petitions encouraging the Obamas to Eat the View. Today is a shining example of how we really can make a difference, and I couldn't be more thrilled.


  1. Linda, You're welcome, it was my pleasure to be a part of any encouraging that might have brought a vegetable garden to the White House! Thank you for the original link and story...and I am excited as all get out that your vegetable garden is planted and ready for warm weather to arrive and stay! Have a delicious weekend~~gail

  2. I was so happy to read about that this morning, too! This New York Times article covers the story, too. Power to the people! Power to the veggies!

  3. Good morning Gail, thank you for joining the effort to get this job done! I believed from the start it was possible. This is a dream come true for a lot of people, and the best news I've heard recently.

    I'm excited you're incorporating veggies into your ornamental gardens. I did that at my last house, and it worked out wonderfully. There were so many pollinators and predators in the ornamental gardens already, I think it really helped the veggies.

    Hi Monica, the first thing I saw was Roger Doiron's email in my inbox this morning. I saw the title and about jumped out of my chair.

    I've been burning up the internet, and the story is getting tons of press everywhere, including all over the TV news. I'm stoked!

  4. Fantastic! Happy to hear about their upcoming garden AND yours.

  5. Hi Kim and Victoria, It's exciting! I can hardly wait to pull the first radish!

  6. I forgot to mention, I love garlic and think it can be life changing! In fact, my favorite bit in Valerie Bertinelli's biography was when she was dating George Lucas and discovered he didn't like garlic that she decided no way would he be a long-term match. I so totally get that! ;-)

  7. Monica, my mom always shares garlic from her garden with us, and I've shared some with one of the Lawn Man's friends. He says it's the best garlic he's ever had. Whenever he talks about it, he calls it "life changing garlic."

    It really is that good, and we call it life changing garlic now all the time. We still have a few cloves left from the fall, along with some awesome garlic powder Mom dries herself for when we run out of fresh. It's the only garlic we use until we run out, and its nice and strong. Good thing the Lawn Man loves it as much as I do!

    I made sure to reserve a couple of garlic heads to break up and plant here so I can grow my own life changing garlic. It's not a big patch, and I'll still get to have fun shopping in Mom's root cellar!

  8. We were all sorely in need of good news & this certainly is. Your new veggie garden looks like it's off to a good start.

  9. Amen to that MMD. Best news I've heard all year.

    I'm having so much fun with my little veggie garden!

  10. Isn't this a glorious day, Linda! Great news for all ... Happy Spring!

  11. When you said eat the View - I thought you meant the TV talk show! I'm glad it has nothing to do with that - great news!

  12. A very memorable first day of spring Joey! Happy Spring to you too! Enjoy your weekend!

    LOL Rosemarie! Sometimes I think the co-hosts of The View might eat each other!

  13. Your garden IS an inspiration. Glad it is doing well and it looks great!

  14. Great post! Very interesting.
    It's spring, yes!

  15. Oh, I remember signing that. I'm so glad to find out the outcome. I am relieved that they will be inspiring other Americans in this way.

  16. That's really great! I can't imagine having that much space for a vegetable garden! Hope you get lots of great vegetables from your new garden!

  17. Aw, thank you Tina! Small as it is, I'm inspired by it! (Shhh. . . don't tell the lawn man, but there's still some room over there to make it bigger! ;)

    Thank you Marie. Happy Spring!

    Kudos to you Brenda! Everyone who got involved played a role in making this happen. Have a great weekend!

    Hi Catherine, isn't it exciting!

    I'd love to have a garden that big, although I haven't forgotten how much work a large vegetable garden is. I grew up helping my parents tend a garden larger than that. In fact Mom and her husband (she's in her seventies,) still have a huge veggie garden, or actually two of them.

    I'm sure the Obamas will have lots of help with their new kitchen garden!

  18. Linda, that new bed looks great! Soon it will be filled to the brim with the best tasting veggies! Can't wait to hear (and see!) that progress.

  19. Thank you Lynn! I'm sure I'll be doing lots of posts about my veggie garden adventures!

  20. Thank you for bringing up, the Obamas organic garden - that is great idea.
    Your garlic looks great!
    Thank you for commenting on my blog.

  21. Linda, when I saw the first photo, I thought that was the White House garden, LOL.

    Thank you for telling us about this; I've missed this in the news. The White House garden is a great idea, and I'm so glad the Obamas decided to do this. Of course, it helps to have a staff to help maintain it:) Seriously, though, it seems like such a logical idea, I wonder why no President before had encouraged it. The chefs should be thrilled to have fresh produce so near by, and, as you say, it provides an inspiration for everyone.

  22. Actually, there have been White House veggie gardens in the past. But, as with the solar roof panels that got torn out, the gardens did, too. For example, Eleanor Roosevelt had a Victory Garden in 1943.Here is a link to Michelle Obama opening the garden:

  23. I was going to ask about the "live changing garlic" but I see you answered it. That's a good name for beneficial/edible plant.

  24. Hi Ewa, It's great they're doing this. There's no doubt it will inspire even more people to start growing vegetables. Seed suppliers are already running out of seeds in the US. They can't keep up with the demand.

    Hi Mom! Isn't this great news! This is the first time in my lifetime the White House has gone so public with a vegetable garden and been outspoken encourging others to follow their lead. It's organic to boot! And getting schoolchildren involved! Schools all over the country will be planting gardens I think. I can't think of better news for gardening in the US.

    Hi Rose, now that would be sad news for the gardening world! ;0

    Since Washington, Presidents have been growing gardens on the WH lawn. There was even a greenhouse, but it was torn down to build the West Wing. Even recent presidents have had gardens, including rooftop gardens. Bush II had organic vegetables grown there, the Clintons had a garden there too. It would have been good if they'd all been more vocal about it!

    Hi MBT, we thought it was the perfect name for such extraordinary garlic, and it stuck!

  25. This is so cool, I didn't know about a kitchen garden at the White House.
    And your veggie garden is cool too -

  26. I saw that on the news too. but I dont think I'll be dressing up as much as Michelle today to work in my yard. I'm so jealous you have a little veggie garden. I have no place at all to start one. I'd be so happy with a few tomato plants. I did grow lettuce at my previous house years ago. they were always filled with earwigs though. YUK!

  27. Isn't it wonderful Karen!

    I'm so excited about my own little plot too.

    Hi Debbie - me neither! It's a sweatshirt and jeans for me.

    I'm thrilled I was able to carve out this space even if it is small. Our yard is so shady there's very little potential veggie growing space.

    Enjoy your day in the garden!

  28. Story was big news in Toronto Star as well - I would hope that once people start to enjoy the taste of home-grown veggies, they might be a little less inclined to buy all those over packaged processed foods that take up 90% of the grocery shelves. A good news story for health, fitness and the environment.

  29. Hi,

    Just popped by to say what a great post this is. My dad is very into growing his own veg too.

  30. Thank you for your kind comments today. I love your optimism, your hope, and your belief that it will all be better once we are through this.

    It is tough out there for everyone, but I am also optimistic that we are going to come out of this in a better way.


  31. Anonymous11:42 AM

    I think you did a grand job with the write-up. I like the part about the chefs getting to pick their favorites. This should be a lot of fun to watch. The bees will be welcome visitors to the White House and most honored guest.

  32. Hi Barbara, I hope so too!

    Thank you Joe! Good for your dad - hopefully one day when you're on your own you'll be able to grown some veggies in your own garden too!

    Thank you Jen. It's a tough time, that's for sure. It seems everyone is either personally affected or know someone who has been through the loss of a job, retirement savings, and the nest eggs they've built up in the value of their home, or even the loss of their home.

    I agree - times are tough, but I think we'll come out of this better and stronger.

    Thank you Anna! I cracked up when I read there would be no beets in the garden, because the President doesn't like them. My husband and Mr. Obama have something in common with their distaste for beets. It's ok though, I can still grow some just for me!

  33. I watched a clip on the White House ground breaking of the garden while sporting a huge smile on my face! I hope more people will take the plunge and make gardens no matter how large or small, they can help feed a family. Your garden looks ready as well and soon you too will be munching on fresh veggies...

  34. Hi Skeeter, wasn't that wonderful! I do think a lot of people will starting vegetable gardens this year, and I hope the trend continues even after the economy stabilizes.

    I'm watching for the peas and radishes to sprout, and looking forward to enjoying home-grown veggies again!

  35. Hi I saw this on the Australian news and was so pleased she looked like she was having fun which is what I think gardening is all about, hard work but fun.
    I have the garden bug I've had it for many years. I love to rescue plants and gardens.


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