By Jueseppi B.
American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America [Hardcover]
Michelle Obama (Author)
In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted a kitchen garden on the White House’s South Lawn. 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.
Now, in her first-ever book, American Grown, Mrs. 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. Get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at every season of the garden’s growth, with striking original photographs that bring its story to life. 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.
Mrs. Obama’s journey continues across the nation as she shares the stories of other gardens that have moved and inspired her: Houston office workers who make the sidewalk bloom; a New York City School that created a scented garden for the visually impaired; a North Carolina garden that devotes its entire harvest to those in need; and other stories of communities that are transforming the lives and health of their citizens.
In American Grown, Mrs. 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.
About the Author
Filled with striking photos, the book weaves glimpses of the first family’s life into the story of what began as a 1,100-square-foot plot and has grown into a lush, colorful and exquisitely tended patchwork of fruit, vegetables and herbs that feeds her family, state dinner guests and the homeless.
Obama writes that while putting dinner on the table in Chicago early in the last presidential campaign season, she thought that if her husband won, she might, as first lady, focus on healthy eating. “That night, it occurred to me that planting a garden at the White House … could be one small way to get started,” she writes.
She’s plain about her urban roots — once thinking tomatoes came only in cellophane-wrapped green plastic trays — and quick to acknowledge the White House chefs, National Park Service workers and schoolchildren who have helped the garden grow.
The first lady mentions Chicago fixtures such as the Rainbow Beach Victory Garden, Iron Street Urban Farm and the old vegetable trucks that wheeled produce into urban areas — one truck employed her late father in his youth — and are succeeded by today’s Fresh Moves mobile produce market.
Dog Bo is a presence in the book. Daughters Malia and Sasha are not shown in any photos.
The 272-page book from Crown Publishers sells for $30. Author proceeds go to the National Park Foundation.
This story began on March, 20, 2009, as the Obamas were finally getting settled into the White House. Mrs. Obama’s mother had just moved in and Michelle was contemplating something she had never done before, planting a garden. That was the day that they broke ground for the White House vegetable garden.
She takes readers back to other White House Gardens, most notably, to the Victory Gardens that helped to get our country through war. There are some wonderful old photos here.
This is a real hands on gardening book. It is broken down by seasons and there are illustrations of various garden plots. Obviously this book was a team effort. We meet the WH gardening team. There are all kinds of gardening tips, recipes, and anecdotes, here.
This book has so many wonderful photos and illustrations! I can’t wait to try out this recipe for collard greens! This book makes me proud to be an American. Thanks to you, Mrs. Obama!
- Michelle Obama’s ‘American Grown’ is out (mnn.com)
- Michelle Obama’s Recipe For Corn Soup With Summer Vegetables (theobamacrat.com)
- ‘American Grown’: Michelle Obama’s first book offers fresh take on gardening (thegrio.com)
- Michelle Obama’s book hits shelves (politico.com)
- Michelle Obama launches White House Kitchen Garden book (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)
- Watch This: Michelle O. on Garden Book (theroot.com)
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books, Causes, Celebs & Fame, Cooking, Cooking Food Recipes, Joy & Happiness, Michelle Obama, News, Photographs, Politics, Recipes, Recipes ~ Food, The White House Tagged: | Barack Obama, Lets Move, Michelle Obama, National Park Foundation, National Park Service, Obama, United States, White House, White House Kitchen Garden