Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Kale is Cool!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Today, 23 fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. will help MIchelle Obama dig up the new 1,100-square-foot White House vegetable garden. In an interview, the First Lady said she hopes to help make it cool for kids to grow and eat fresh fruits and veggies. The students from the Bancroft school will also help plant and harvest, and they’ll get to cook what they pick with the chefs in the White House kitchen. Of course produce from the patch will also be used for Obama family meals and formal dinners.

The  plot will be located on the South Lawn, in a spot visible from E Street, just below the Obama girls’ new swing set. For now, spring veggies like spinach, snap peas, and lots of lettuce will be growing in the garden. There’s a separate bed for raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, and others for rhubarb, mint, and kale and collards. Wanna see what else is growing? The New York Times has the scoop, including the complete garden plan and a view via Google Earth.

Let Them Eat Cukes

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

The word is out—there will be a vegetable garden at the White House, overseen by Michelle. Obama Foodorama has the details.

Beyond the Obama Biceps

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Finally, the coverage of Michelle Obama is moving beyond her pair of sculpted shoulders and shapely biceps. As noted in today’s New York Times, the importance of eating healthy, fresh, local foods is emerging as one of her signature issues. Last week she even rhapsodized about the steamed broccoli she was serving to homeless men and women at Miriam’s kitchen, which serves only fresh food, nothing canned or processed, to the poor.

Some of the tasty tidbits in the article: The White House gets fresh fruits and vegetables from farms in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and even served organic wine to the nation’s governors at the first big post-inaugural White House bash last month. The First Lady is taking a higher profile on the importance of healthy eating than Laura Bush, who insisted that fresh, organic foods be served at the White House but didn’t broadcast the fact—you know how some Republicans feel about arugula-eating elitists.  

Michelle Obama, Locavore-in-Chief?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

On Friday, I bemoaned the fact that Michelle Obama missed an opportunity to promote healthy fresh foods when she appeared at the USDA, which had just announced a plan to create community gardens at its facilities worldwide, bearing a magnolia seedling instead of a tiny apple tree or other edible plant. But on Sunday, according to Marian Burros of the New York Times, the First Lady put in a plug for local and sustainable food and for healthy eating during a tour of the White House kitchen:

When food is grown locally, she said, “oftentimes it tastes really good, and when you’re dealing with kids, you want to get them to try that carrot.”

“If it tastes like a real carrot, and it’s really sweet, they’re going to think that it’s a piece of candy,” she continued. “So my kids are more inclined to try different vegetables if they are fresh and local and delicious.”

Now she should get that organic garden growing on the White House grounds…

Happy White House!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Well, the results are in. Everyone who voted in the Great White House Garden Makeover Contest thinks Michelle, Barack, Malia, and Sasha should have an organic vegetable garden. It’s not too late to sign The White House Organic Farm Project’s online petition calling on the 44th President to oversee the planting of an organic farm on the grounds of the nation’s First Home.

Great White House Garden Makeover Contest!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Calling all plant lovers this election week! Now that a desire for fundamental change seems to be sweeping the country, we should be pushing for a radical makeover of the White House landscape. Coddled with water, fertilizers, and pesticides and designed according to fussy, outdated, and ecologically destructive notions of beauty, this garden is a national disgrace. Enter the Great White House Garden Makeover Contest and make horticultural history!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden traces the history of the site: “When George Washington and Pierre Charles L’Enfant mapped out the ‘President’s Park,’ in 1791, Washington sketched reflecting pools and terraced gardens buttressing an executive residence to rival Versailles.” This hoity-toity approach to horticulture has continued to this day, with a brief interlude when Andrew Jackson actually got his hands dirty weeding the garden after naked morning dips in the Potomac.

So, what should be done with these 18.2 acres of hallowed ground today? The Rodale Institute exhorted the Clinton administration to ban synthetic pesticides in the Rose Garden and build a compost bin. Restaurateur Alice Waters offered to create an organic garden for the White House chefs. The White House Organic Farm Project has an online petition calling on the 44th President to oversee the planting of an organic farm on the grounds of the nation’s First Home.

What would you do if you had your druthers? Send me your ideas by December 1, 2008. I’ll post the best ones online. Here’s how to reach me.