American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
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What about that toxic sludge that critics made so much noise about? As an urban gardener myself, and a blogger that follows community gardens and urban agriculture projects, I found myself wishing that this information was better covered to help new gardeners navigate the issues of gardening on land they don't own, dealing with bureaucracies, winning over doubters, and ensuring the soil they plant in is safe.
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The closest we get to how the sausage is made is the section on the beehive in the garden. We learn President Obama had concerns about a hive so close to where he plays basketball, and for Bo's safety. A compromise was reached and the beehive was installed on what looks like stilts so it would be out of Bo's reach. This idea is rather clever because I would've just placed the beehive on a roof to keep it out of the way.
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There are a lot of photos of Bo in the vegetable garden. Photos of the First Dog are second only to those of the First Lady, but there's no information on how pets and gardens can coexist. Is Bo the world's best behaved dog, or has he dug up plants, and peed on the occasional squash, and how was it handled?
American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens across America
Practical gardening information in the book is sparse to the point that the book is useless to someone who has been inspired by the White House Kitchen Garden to start their own. For example, the chapter on the summer garden is six pages long and contains one paragraph of text. It's up to the reader to deduce that the plant names in the garden layout provided are different than the ones in the chapter on the spring garden.
If American Grown wasn't going to tell us how the sausage was made or provide us with gardening tips -- why bother writing this book? It wasn't until my 6-year-old nephew, who is a big fan of President Obama and the First Lady, excitedly picked up the book and leafed through it that I understood why American Grown was published. American Grown isn't for experienced gardeners, and it isn't for those looking for gardening information. It's a love letter of sorts to the White House employees and volunteers who have nurtured the garden along, and the featured gardens across America that are helping make good, nutritious food available in communities that need it most.
I learned that the White House Vegetable Garden was seen as the reason that many, often young, African-Americans had become interested in the work the organization had been doing for decades. All of a sudden vegetable gardening was seen as something cool to do.
When the first publicity photos of the ground breaking ceremony at the garden hit the Internet I remember the snarky reaction from many gardeners and garden writers on Twitter. May 29, Minutes. As fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs sprouted from the ground, this White House Kitchen Garden inspired a new conversation all across the country about the food we feed our families and the impact it has on the health and well-being of our children.
Obama invites you inside the White House Kitchen Garden and shares its inspiring story, from the first planting to the latest harvest. Hear about her worries as a novice gardener — would the new plants even grow?
Learn about her struggles and her joys as lettuce, corn, tomatoes, collards and kale, sweet potatoes and rhubarb flourished in the freshly tilled soil. Try the unique recipes created by White House chefs and made with ingredients just picked from the White House garden. And learn from the White House Garden team about how you can help plant your own backyard, school or community garden.
Obama tells the story of the White House Kitchen Garden, celebrates the bounty of gardens across our nation, and reminds us all of what we can grow together. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book!
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American grown the story of the White House kitchen garden and gardens across America. American grown : the story of the White House kitchen garden and gardens across America. American grown : the history of the white house kitchen garden and gardens across America. All rights reserved.
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