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Local Food Movement Celebrates Victory at the White House
March 19, 2009 6:56 PM   Subscribe

On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II.
posted by jbiz (137 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Seed sales are up. Different companies report different rises - some up 20%, some have doubled.
posted by Miko at 7:01 PM on March 19, 2009


I just read about this, though I read the Mother Jones article. It's a neat gesture. Did anyone think it was a little weird that just because Obama doesn't like beets, they won't plant any in the garden. I mean there's three other people in the family. Also, cilantro. Also, two bee hives!

[also, omg I found a typo in the NYT! "Eating out three times a week, ordering a pizza, having a sandwich for dinner took it’s toll."]
posted by jessamyn at 7:01 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


[I don't mean they're up in response to the Obama garden. Both are part of a bigger thing.]
posted by Miko at 7:01 PM on March 19, 2009


This is awesome news! Another first in many years was the story of the Obamas getting a swingset (March 10th post near the bottom) for the first time since I think Carter. I love the idea of a military man testing out the slides and swings.
posted by mathowie at 7:04 PM on March 19, 2009 [9 favorites]


I wonder if she realizes that the place doesn't belong to her. Her husband is just temporary help, you know, hired on a 4 year renewable contract.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:06 PM on March 19, 2009


A White House carpenter who is a beekeeper will tend two hives for honey.

APIARY, FUCK YES

I'm looking forward to the Obamas brewing their own mead!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:10 PM on March 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


Did anyone think it was a little weird that just because Obama doesn't like beets, they won't plant any in the garden. I mean there's three other people in the family.

That's just the official story. As always in Washington, there's a deeper story they're not giving out. In fact beets have been quietly banned from the White House menu since the famous headline "Dewey beets Truman".
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:10 PM on March 19, 2009 [30 favorites]


I wonder if she realizes that the place doesn't belong to her. Her husband is just temporary help, you know, hired on a 4 year renewable contract.

God, really. The First Ladies never redecorate the White House or do anything to the grounds. Hell, they're all still using the same dishes Dolly Madison bought. Such presumption is unheard of.
posted by scody at 7:11 PM on March 19, 2009 [42 favorites]


She better be careful not to track mud onto those fancy carpets.
posted by Flashman at 7:18 PM on March 19, 2009


Galactic lettuce??? Why have I never heard of this? Is it Cylon technology?
posted by orrnyereg at 7:19 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is totally cool, was hoping they'd do something like this. Fresh vegetables are awesome.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:19 PM on March 19, 2009


I have found that having a small vegetable garden in my yard is a great way to spend more money on vegetables, while also spending lots and lots more time obtaining them, and getting bitten by more insects than I would if I just went to the grocery store. Which I end up doing anyway because the few puny vegetables that don't get killed by tomato mold or zuchinni weevils aren't enough to make a small salad out of three times a year. But hey, Florida doesn't really have a good climate for growing stuff.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:21 PM on March 19, 2009 [15 favorites]


My wife is in love with the Obamas. (We got cloth napkins as an Earth-saving measure, even though it makes more laundry which she [my wife, not the Earth] hates.) Hopefully this move makes my own front yard garden even more likely.
posted by DU at 7:21 PM on March 19, 2009


jessamyn: "Did anyone think it was a little weird that just because Obama doesn't like beets, they won't plant any in the garden."

I don't have many good things to say about Bush the First, as you might imagine.

But I'll be at least a tiny bit sorry when he passes because he once said...

I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.

Is there an honest man who will deny identifying with that sentiment?
posted by Joe Beese at 7:22 PM on March 19, 2009 [40 favorites]


If you built a greenhouse and grew nice, fresh, hot house tomatoes, would the plant spit out new tomatoes all year round, or would the plant yield its harvest and die, requiring a rotation of plants to keep a never-ending supply of delicious, fresh tomatoes?
posted by paisley henosis at 7:23 PM on March 19, 2009


The petition
posted by tellurian at 7:26 PM on March 19, 2009


Well, good for her. My son and I started putting in our gardens yesterday. I bet the Obama girls will have a blast planting the gardens. At least my Igor did. He was covered in dirt by the time we were done. Who doesn't love dirt? And planting things? The seeds we put in starter pots are all almost big enough to transplant, and it's been an incredible opportunity for me to teach him rudimentary horticulture, biology, complimentary plantings...it's been great fun. (I'm tired though, I tell ya, schlepping around 1900 pounds of dirt is a lot harder than it looks.)

If you would like to plant a victory garden, may I mention that our very own Asparagirl has posted scans of the 1943 ABC of Victory Gardens? It's fabulous, and a really great resource for anyone starting their first garden.
posted by dejah420 at 7:27 PM on March 19, 2009 [16 favorites]


Recently.
posted by gman at 7:29 PM on March 19, 2009


Not implying "double" but I do want to point out the recent discussion in the blue.

But hey, Florida doesn't really have a good climate for growing stuff.

I wouldn't mind a citrus tree or three in my yard in DC. But instead we'll make do with some insane number of tomatoes - hopefully I can keep Mrs. exogenous from deploying more than 18 plants. This year we're doing a bunch of tomatoes and other veg from seed instead of already started in pots (I guess there's probably a better name for that).
posted by exogenous at 7:30 PM on March 19, 2009


Let me know when they start growing their own weed.
posted by box at 7:31 PM on March 19, 2009 [9 favorites]


Is there an honest man who will deny identifying with that sentiment?

What?! Broccoli fucking rules! Raw with hummus, steamed with a bit of garlic butter, stir fried with some salt and pepper, it's delicious in so many ways. And don't you dare throw away the stalks and eat just the crowns, the stalks taste damn good too.

And now, I didn't need to become President of the United States to be able to determine what I would and would not eat. Different strokes I guess.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 PM on March 19, 2009 [11 favorites]


I wonder if she realizes that the place doesn't belong to her. Her husband is just temporary help, you know, hired on a 4 year renewable contract.
I heard she actually sat in one of the chairs! Hey, Mickey, no buttprints from the hired help, thanks.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 7:34 PM on March 19, 2009


I wonder if she realizes that the place doesn't belong to her. Her husband is just temporary help, you know, hired on a 4 year renewable contract.

You know, a nice fresh juicy apple is a real mood elevator.
posted by Adam_S at 7:35 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


With a new garden and a new dog coming to the White House, it will be good for them to remember, your dog will always crap near your favorite garden seat.
posted by netbros at 7:36 PM on March 19, 2009


I wonder if she realizes that the place doesn't belong to her. Her husband is just temporary help, you know, hired on a 4 year renewable contract.

I bet she doesn't - she's really, really stupid. Glad you pointed that out!
posted by tristeza at 7:36 PM on March 19, 2009 [12 favorites]


Will little jars of White House Honey become collector's items? That would be very cool.

This year, I'm just growing pretty flowers, because we don't go through that many veggies. I would love to put in berry bushes if I had the space/know how.
posted by emjaybee at 7:37 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes! I posted this as a suggestion on whitehouse.gov. I'm glad they liked my idea!
posted by heathkit at 7:40 PM on March 19, 2009


Hey, Paisley, the answer to your question depends on whether the tomato plants in question are determinate (flower all at once, fruit all at once, die off) or inteterminate (long succession of flowers and fruits). Probably also the conditions and cleanliness of your greenhouse.

This is yet more evidence that the Obamas rock. Gardening is awesome.
posted by Sublimity at 7:44 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


What?! Broccoli fucking rules!

Yes, it's sprouts that are the work of the Devil.
posted by crossoverman at 7:45 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Are they going to plant arugula?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:47 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


These little gestures tend not to stay. Remember Carter and the solar panels? I imagine that four years from now, when Obama hasn't made some magical future everyone's suddenly expecting happen (with bunnies!), we'll have a new Republican President in the White House, and one of the first things he'll do is have the garden yanked out and replaced with Monsanto NoGroTurf®. It's all just a little bit of history repeating.

Monsanto NoGroTurf® may supplant pre-existing native species, including but not limited to: Kentucky bluegrass, crabgrass, fescue, brush, weeds, oak trees, and mammals under 20kg. Use caution: all though NoGroTurf® does not yet exist, it may well grow directly into the past. Do not worry about calculating costs for any NoGroTurf® which may appear on your property; Monsanto's new BioLicensing will send license per square yard requests directly to our billing servers from tiny WiFi antennae built-in to each blade of "grass."
posted by adipocere at 7:50 PM on March 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


What?! Broccoli fucking rules! Raw with hummus, steamed with a bit of garlic butter, stir fried with some salt and pepper, it's delicious in so many ways.

As a result of our love for Ina Garten, our favorite is to roast it. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, fresh garlic (optional). 425 degree oven for 25 mins or so. Perfection. Works for so many other vegetables, too.
posted by jbiz at 7:53 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Are they going to plant arugula?

Why, yes they are. Arugula is a tasty green.

Now, would you like to ask another question that's answered IN THE FIRST FUCKING PARAGRAPH OF THE ARTICLE?
posted by neroli at 7:53 PM on March 19, 2009 [9 favorites]


As our First People, part of 'the job' (unofficial but still important) is to set an example. This is another good example they are setting. Hopefully they'll teach their daughters too. My grandma taught me a bit of gardening when I was young, and I loved it, turning little seeds and dirt into food. I still enjoy it, and find it not unlike magic. In fact, I started some of my garden plants indoors about two weeks ago and now that they're sprouting, I'm getting excited about spring, anticipating everything exploding into life around me. Nature is freaking cool.
posted by jamstigator at 7:55 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


You are not doing it right.
posted by nax at 7:57 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Penny'll get you a quarter that the dog digs it all up.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:57 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I live in a condo community that has an astronomical "landscaping" budget. If I can actually drag myself to one of our HOA meetings, I might bring this up as a suggestion.
posted by jbiz at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I live 3 miles away from the Obamas, and do a lot of gardening. Maybe I can give them some pointers. Michelle, babe, call me.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am a little tired of all the "neat gestures."

How about staffing the Treasury Department with some assistant secretaries? How about details on financial system reform (promised like four times in the past month already)?

Enough with neat little gardens. Enough with NCAA brackets on ESPN. Enough with Leno appearances. Basically, enough with being a celebrity instead of a leader, even if there are enough starstruck Americans who seem to lap it up.

Two months in, this administration truly is the triumph of symbolism (teleprompters) over substance (solutions).
posted by Slap Factory at 8:00 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


also, omg I found a typo in the NYT!

that stopped being special about 15 years ago
posted by pyramid termite at 8:02 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was really excited about this. I joined the Eat the View petition before the election. It just ties in so perfectly to the growing movements to reduce wasteful lawns, eat local, eat more fresh food. And the layout of it looks as beautiful as any flower garden. It's really not too different from what a lot of restaurants are doing by growing their own source of greens and herbs, what a delight it will be to serve their own produce at a State Dinner.
posted by saffry at 8:02 PM on March 19, 2009


Yes, it's sprouts that are the work of the Devil.

Who doesn't like satan? Especially with garlic butter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:04 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]



How about staffing the Treasury Department with some assistant secretaries? How about details on financial system reform (promised like four times in the past month already)?

Michelle Obama needs to get out of the garden and get back to work.
posted by jbiz at 8:05 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am a little tired of all the "neat gestures." How about staffing the Treasury Department with some assistant secretaries?

I don't think government staffing decisions are the First Lady's bailiwick. It's not like the president himself is going to be out there every afternoon in a straw hat, sleeves rolled up, gardening kneepads over his trousers, weeding the fucking aubergines.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:08 PM on March 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


This is awesome. He's done a lot and I still love them. People have said and done the dumbest shit trying to bring him down and the man hasn't even been in office 2 good months. But that's why a bunch of us worked our asses off. So now I can have faith and give things time and look at the president and say he's a good guy and basically just keep sailing on this cloud. He aint perfect, I aint perfect, the world aint perfect. But you know what? Hate on. "I'm laughin. I'm laughin at you dog, I'm laughin'"
posted by cashman at 8:19 PM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is all just a cover for them planting their socialist Pod People plants out there, I tell you.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:20 PM on March 19, 2009


saffry called out Eat the View and I really think they deserve a lot of credit for the fact that it actually came to pass. Many individuals and organizations joined the charge, but this little campaign of Kitchen Gardeners International got started over a year ago, when we didn't even know who the nominee was. It's an idea whose time has come, but it got a lot of help because of this group.

By the way, they've replaced the petition on the website with a thank you card.
posted by Miko at 8:21 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's sprouts that are the work of the Devil.

You take that back. You take that back right this instant!
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 8:22 PM on March 19, 2009 [24 favorites]


~ the answer to your question depends on whether the tomato plants in question are determinate (flower all at once, fruit all at once, die off) or inteterminate (long succession of flowers and fruits).

Ah-hah! Thanks for the info, I've had this question bumping around my brain since summer, but I have no greenhouse, so it seemed silly to waste an AskMe on it.

Take that, AskMe!
posted by paisley henosis at 8:28 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not like the president himself is going to be out there every afternoon in a straw hat, sleeves rolled up, gardening kneepads over his trousers, weeding the fucking aubergines.

And why not? If the president wants to have policy meeting with his advisors while he's "weeding the fucking aubergines" (ps: we call them eggplants around here) or mulching, or pulling hoses to water his rows, then I say good on him. Hell, if he just wants an hour a day to get his thoughts together while doing a little digging in the dirt, so what?

And if Barack Obama doesn't care to garden, then that's fine too. But to suggest that the activity is somehow beneath him, that somehow he might be too good or too important to get his hands dirty with a little bit of manual labor--well, that just the mark of an immature and foolish mind. It strikes me as fairly odd that the very same assholes who got all creamy about Reagan chopping wood and Bush clearing brush on their little toy ranches are the first in line to mock and disparage what seems like a fairly honest effort to set a good example and bring back a little piece of good old fashioned American thrift and self-reliance to the White House.
posted by Chrischris at 8:43 PM on March 19, 2009 [35 favorites]


re: sprouts.

For 30+ years I, too, thought they were the work of the devil. That was before I discovered Mark Bittman. Now I glaze them with butter and wine, or saute them with -- yes! -- bacon. And now, truly, truly, I say to thee: sprouts are the work of the angels.
posted by scody at 8:48 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


But to suggest that the activity is somehow beneath him, that somehow he might be too good or too important to get his hands dirty with a little bit of manual labor--well, that just the mark of an immature and foolish mind.

Ease up, tiger. Rowr.

(We call them eggplants around here too, but "aubergines" is so much nicer, don't you think?)
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:50 PM on March 19, 2009


I can just see Mrs. Obama explaining her prize patch to the press now:

"This is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff."
posted by zap rowsdower at 8:56 PM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm too much of a communist to really be an Obama fan but we don't plant beets either because I hate them. I hate them enough that I'm not particularly interested in finding out whether my boyfriend likes them or not. We're not planting them.
posted by birdie birdington at 8:59 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now I glaze them with butter and wine, or saute them with -- yes! -- bacon.

Yes, drowning them within an inch of their life sounds about what's best for them.

You take that back. You take that back right this instant!
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 2:22 PM on March 20 [+] [!]


NEVAR!
posted by crossoverman at 8:59 PM on March 19, 2009


And why not? If the president wants to have policy meeting with his advisors while he's "weeding the fucking aubergines" (ps: we call them eggplants around here) or mulching, or pulling hoses to water his rows, then I say good on him.

Chrischris, I think you misunderstand -- that comment was in response to someone who seemed to think that Obama was doing a lot of things for show, i.e. that he was going to be "weeding the fucking aubergines" INSTEAD OF having policy meetings. The retort was pointing out the ludicrousness of said accusation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:01 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


This makes me smile. It's such a good example to set, rather than spending a few million on redecorating.

I'm thinking if the Obamas wind up with way too many of one kind of produce as always tends to happen when one gardens, they'll have no trouble giving away the excess. Who could turn out some White House cucumbers or tomatoes?
posted by orange swan at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2009



Ease up, tiger. Rowr.

(We call them eggplants around here too, but "aubergines" is so much nicer, don't you think?)


Sorry T-D, I got a little carried away. I know you Antipodean lot are mostly all right, John Howard notwithstanding.
posted by Chrischris at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2009


Sorry T-D, I got a little carried away.

Hey, no sweat. I didn't mean to imply that the president is afraid of a bit of hard graft - in fact it would be great to see him pottering around out there from time to time, setting a good example, instead of russlin' cattle up on his ranch, or shooting members of the cabinet on hunting trips - I just mean that I doubt he's going to be cancelling his meeting with the King of Spain or whatever because the jalapenos are ripe for pluckin' and fresh-plucked jalapenos? Mmm, boy.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:11 PM on March 19, 2009


This makes me happy.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:12 PM on March 19, 2009


I'm too much of a communist to really be an Obama fan but we don't plant beets either because I hate them. I hate them enough that I'm not particularly interested in finding out whether my boyfriend likes them or not. We're not planting them.

Real communists like beets. Just sayin'.
posted by youcancallmeal at 9:17 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who could turn out some White House cucumbers or tomatoes?

You know how they have the traditional gift-swapping thing when heads of state visit? Home-made preserves!
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:17 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


And yet, I am not hope filled. Don't get me wrong, this is swell, but that whole 'first since victory garden' thing just sort of strikes a chord of rationing and the great depression and what not. It's what we need, but it reinforces the 'holy crap, things are bad' thing I got going in my head. Better to do it than to not of course.
I'd like to see the solar panels go back up too tho.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:18 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ on a lopsided side-car! The Obama's make a symbolic gesture by choosing to convert a useless area of parasitic lawn into an (almost) free solar food-factory, and yet some people take umbrage with this?

Give your head a shake. Go out for a walk. Listen to some music. Call up an old friend. But do something, anything, positive for your mental equilibrium. Because your sense of priorities are seriously askew if you can manage the intellectual contortionism necessary to somehow twist this into a negative action.

Seriously.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:19 PM on March 19, 2009 [20 favorites]


I don't think anyone seriously thinks the President and family are going to do all or even a lot of or even a significant amount of the gardening (nor did anyone seriously think Bush did all the brush-clearing on his ranch). These things are recreational and ceremonial activities for the presidents. It's not like a normal house or even a governor's mansion. There are hundreds and hundreds - over a thousand, I think - of people who work at the White House. It has a full kitchen staff and is the place our leaders greet foreign guests and serve State dinners. Already in the article, they've had a group of schoolkids in to prepare the soil, bringing a public educational dimension to the project that I'm sure will continue. It's a public garden, it's symbolic, and it communicates many messages. It doesn't matter at all whether the first family actively gardens much; what matters is that this is something they chose to do, to feature, and to educate people with.
posted by Miko at 9:21 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I would love to put in berry bushes if I had the space/know how."

Don't know where you are but many berries are very easy to grow. Blue berries for example are available in varieties hardy to zone 2 that only grow 12-18" high and wide. Basically plant the potted bush from the nursery and next year or the year after at the latest you'll have berries.

"I live in a condo community that has an astronomical 'landscaping' budget. If I can actually drag myself to one of our HOA meetings, I might bring this up as a suggestion."

Which is the great power of this gesture, it makes gardens acceptable.
posted by Mitheral at 9:22 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember the abject terror of getting my first yard, planting a garden, and watching in dumbstruck horror as the zucchini, beans, and pumpkins threatened to engulf the entire neighbourhood. Most urban dwellers really have no idea of the potential yield of the unused land they take so much for granted.

To this day zucchini anything gives me involuntary peristaltic contractions.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:35 PM on March 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


PB, it's a good thing you got rid of them before the people pods started growing.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:41 PM on March 19, 2009


Conspiracy corner: The whole election was just a part of a plan so that when the econo-pocalypse hit they'd have a good defensible patch of land to grow food on!!!
posted by Artw at 9:43 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Chiming in on the ease of berry plant care, my grandparents kept a stand of raspberry bushes at their summer house for as long as I could remember - so, the most recently it could have been started was what, a bit under twenty years ago? In all the times I visited I have never, to my recollection, seen either them, or after they passed away, my uncle, so much as touch those plants, much less do any kind of gardening. We still had bowlfuls of sweet, homegrown berries every visit.

(I do remember my grandmother pruning the redcurrants at least once, and the bushes have gotten taller and shorter at times, so I'm sure there must have been some maintenance -- just not a lot. I've raised cherry tomatoes in planters the past two summers, and I couldn't leave them alone for two days!)

Wow, I'm really missing my grandparents all of a sudden - and craving raspberries, too, even though I know the supermarket ones won't be half as good. But before I get too maudlin, what I'm trying to say is, if you want berries, emjaybee, I'm thinking you can make it happen.
posted by bettafish at 9:45 PM on March 19, 2009


*inserts strained, irrelevant Brawndo reference*
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:49 PM on March 19, 2009


“You can begin in your own cupboard by eliminating processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables,” she said.

That may be the most radical thing a first lady has said in my lifetime. Go, Michelle.

I'd like to see the solar panels go back up too tho.

What he said.
posted by mediareport at 9:51 PM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


Raspberries are a bit more work, at least the kind we have. The canes should be thinned every year to remove the dead material that has already fruited (raspberries fruit on second year wood). Also they grow several feet high and the canes and leaves are kind of scratchy. Pretty tough to kill though as long as they get enough water. I've heard they can actually be a nuisance in some areas as birds will spread the seeds around and suddenly you've got little raspberry plants everywhere.
posted by Mitheral at 9:54 PM on March 19, 2009


what?! sprouts are great! you can grow them in a jar in yr windowsill...radish sprouts are the best...nice and spicy...you can put 'em on anything.

what? ohhhh...brussel sprouts. yeah, those fuckin' suck.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:34 PM on March 19, 2009


yard-long beans are also super fun, and easy to grow. they're great for getting all 'graphic design' with your food...
posted by sexyrobot at 10:42 PM on March 19, 2009


(nor did anyone seriously think Bush did all the brush-clearing on his ranch)

How could that man have spent fully five-eighths of his presidency clearing brush only to somehow leave it unfinished and need to hire someone else to do it?!
posted by malthas at 11:02 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


PS This vegetable garden on the White House lawn thing is awesome.
posted by malthas at 11:02 PM on March 19, 2009


Has she stated a position on preserves?

"Yes, we can"?
posted by klangklangston at 11:18 PM on March 19, 2009 [45 favorites]


I really love beets. Didn't used to, as my only taste of beets growing up were the pickled ones from a can in the salad bar at the pizza place I worked at (wow, what an awkward sentence). Their texture and consistency, together with the sad, limp, stale state of the salad bar completely turned me off the things. Flash forward about fifteen years, I decide to try a roasted beet salad in a nice restaurant, and I'm immediately a convert. I don't know what it is, the earthiness of the flavor, I guess. Anyway, yum. If I had a spot to garden, and the tools, and anything at all resembling the inclination, time, and knowledge, I'd definitely plant beets.
posted by JenMarie at 11:49 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Who doesn't like satan? Especially with garlic butter.

Sit next to me the day after sprouts and the answer will be 'you'.
posted by biffa at 2:13 AM on March 20, 2009


I thought they only just got rid of the vegetables from the White House.
posted by Elmore at 3:06 AM on March 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am a little tired of all the "neat gestures."

How about staffing the Treasury Department with some assistant secretaries? How about details on financial system reform (promised like four times in the past month already)?

Enough with neat little gardens. Enough with NCAA brackets on ESPN. Enough with Leno appearances. Basically, enough with being a celebrity instead of a leader, even if there are enough starstruck Americans who seem to lap it up.

Two months in, this administration truly is the triumph of symbolism (teleprompters) over substance (solutions).
posted by Slap Factory at 8:00 PM on March 19


JESUS CHRIST YOU LIBS ARE PATHETIC OBAMA'S NOT THE SAVIOR AND HE WON'T JUST SNAP HIS FINGERS AND FIX EVERYTHING

...

JESUS CHRIST IT'S BEEN SIX WEEKS SINCE THE INAUGURATION LIBS WHY THE HELL HASN'T OBAMA FIXED EVERYTHING ALREADY
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:16 AM on March 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


And yet, I am not hope filled. Don't get me wrong, this is swell, but that whole 'first since victory garden' thing just sort of strikes a chord of rationing and the great depression and what not. It's what we need, but it reinforces the 'holy crap, things are bad' thing I got going in my head.

Then I think you need to reframe your attitude towards gardening and perhaps towards the general concept of reducing consumption. Have you ever picked a fresh strawberry or pea pod off a plant and eaten it? If you haven't, let me tell you, desperation and sadness are the furthest thing from your mind when you do. Gardening rocks. It's cost-efficient, it's a source of the healthiest, freshest food possible, it's good exercise, it's emotionally satisfying. Gardening is something everyone should do, whether this means you have a garden in your backyard or pots on your balcony or tiny pots of herbs in your kitchen window.

I welcome this turn towards a lower-consumption life that Western society seems to be taking. I think we'll all be happier and healthier for it, and certainly the planet will.
posted by orange swan at 5:00 AM on March 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


So I guess my dream of having the First Lady plant a cheeseburger tree was just that; a dream, huh?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:29 AM on March 20, 2009


Xan,
I know, I know.
But this whole "plant-growing" idea is a relatively new area of human knowledge, with very little information available.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:33 AM on March 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


News flash! Obama and kin dislike beets! Beet future fall 50% upon hearing the news!

Breaking!! Head of Monsanto takes break from Lucha Libre to weep before cameras and ask, "WHY, dear god why? They are made of love! They only want to be delicious!"

Extra!!! Daniel Schmoon to come out of retirement to combat the Purple Menace!
posted by JHarris at 5:45 AM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


All this talk of beets makes me think of the time my mother had served beets as part of a meal. We kids (there were five of us) complained bitterly about having to eat them. So there were lots left. Then a neighbour kid who was friends with my brother showed up. He got very excited at the sight of the beets. He said, "BEETS!! I love beets!" and was invited to have some, so he proceeded to make himself a beet sandwich, which he ate with great enjoyment. My parents still laugh about that story.
posted by orange swan at 6:08 AM on March 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


The dorm I lived in in college was named "Beets". After a person, not the vegetable. Either way, I still don't like them.
posted by DU at 6:15 AM on March 20, 2009


Boy, this article made me happy. So awesome.

Maybe I'm just a naive young thing, but it sure seems to me like Obama has gotten a WHOLE LOT done since he took office. Seriously substantial things, and also symbolic things, which I think it would be foolish to write off as completely worthless. The country really is a different place now that it was last year in terms of what we, as a nation, focus on and talk about. I am still surprised when I read the news in the morning and I see the president has said or done something that I find reasonable, smart and timely. I don't *think* I'm kidding myself here - I'm willing to concede that it's possible, I do like Obama a lot - but as far as I can tell, the man is not only doing what he said he'd do (not all in one day of course, but he's working down the list) and doing it well. (The only place I can speak from experience is as a scientist - and as a scientist, I can tell you that I and the people I work with are seriously grateful for the money that is once again flowing in to research.)
posted by Cygnet at 6:15 AM on March 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Hey awesome, she's gonna grow heirloom tomatoes! I wonder which ones she'll grow? I bet there's a Brandywine and a Yellow or Red Pear in the mix. Maybe they'll venture into the "green when ripe" varieties like Aunt Ruby's German Green or Green Giant. I wonder where they'll get their seeds from?
posted by KathyK at 6:18 AM on March 20, 2009


Maybe I'm just a naive young thing.... posted by Cygnet at 9:15 AM

For some reason I am suddenly feeling maternal towards you. I'm so glad you're happy, sweetie.;-)
posted by orange swan at 6:19 AM on March 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I keep thinking about what it would be like to have Michelle Obama's power as a trendsetter. On the one hand, I would HATE to be under such scrutiny and that so many people were copying whatever I did. On the other, it would be awesome to have such influence and be able to get people to do things to change their lives for the better.
posted by orange swan at 6:36 AM on March 20, 2009


And why not? If the president wants to have policy meeting with his advisors while he's "weeding the fucking aubergines" (ps: we call them eggplants around here) or mulching, or pulling hoses to water his rows, then I say good on him. Hell, if he just wants an hour a day to get his thoughts together while doing a little digging in the dirt, so what?

LBJ famously held meetings while on the crapper. Weeding the aubergines would be infinitely preferable.


(and thanks for all the berry bush encouragement; biggest problem is that I rent my house, not own; but will keep in mind if ever I get my own place).
posted by emjaybee at 6:44 AM on March 20, 2009


I'm so happy. I'm overdue for turning over the winter rye. I'll do that this morning.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:49 AM on March 20, 2009


emjaybee, I rent, too. That hasn't stopped me from making two raised beds and tearing up a section of the lawn for another bed and landscaping the front yard with perennials. The way I see it is that I'm upgrading the place for free.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:55 AM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am a little tired of all the "neat gestures."

Maybe reforming health care starts at the dinner plate.
posted by yeti at 7:15 AM on March 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I agree with Stweriffic, emjaybee. Ask your landlord if you want to be sure but I can't see why they would object.
posted by effwerd at 7:17 AM on March 20, 2009


You know how they have the traditional gift-swapping thing when heads of state visit? Home-made preserves!

And then the Brits will bitch that the labels weren't handwritten with a quill pen and they used the wrong type of strawberry.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:47 AM on March 20, 2009


My garden is a mixture of flowers (40 roses for one) vegetables and fruits. This year:

Dave and I dug a bed 25 feet by 4 feet by 1/2 feet and are filling the bottom with sand for our new asparagus bed. The asparagus plants should get planted this weekend.

Planted a dwarf nectarine.

Planted 3 blueberry bushes.

As of this morning, my spinach, beet, snow peas, and garden peas are in the ground. The cherry tomatoes, Brandywine tomatoes, jalapenos, and red bells seeds are started inside in jiffy pots. The lemon tree is still waiting out the frosty weather in a corner of the kitchen as is the Bay Laurel tree. The chives and the rosemary grow year round outside in the kitchen garden with the oregano.

And, yes, growing fruits and vegetables can be a heart breaker. You can prepare the soil, pay for water and good organic fertilizer, weed in the broiling sun and still get rewarded with very little. Last summer after 8 years of growing cherry tomatoes effortlessly, I harvested only a pint or so tomatoes from 12 bushes-- the birds and/or squirrels just discovered them and left only the most green. This year if I want any I shall have to invest in netting.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:53 AM on March 20, 2009


I keep thinking about what it would be like to have Michelle Obama's power as a trendsetter.

I know that I could not be trusted with such power. I'd be mu-ha-ha-ing daily.

But why is the FLOTUS* such a trendsetter? Her special ability is to be married to the guy who was elected president. This does not necessarily imply any kind of fashion sense. It's good that Michelle Obama seems to have a good head on her shoulders (As Opposed To), but no one elected her. It's not like a Clinton tag-team ticket.

* There but for one letter go LOLs.
posted by JHarris at 8:08 AM on March 20, 2009


And then the Brits will bitch that the labels weren't handwritten with a quill pen and they used the wrong type of strawberry.

Is this a dig at the DVD gift thing? Because smarter people than Obama (there are a few of them, somewhere) have never heard of region locking.
posted by JHarris at 8:10 AM on March 20, 2009


But why is the FLOTUS* such a trendsetter?

She can be, or she can not be - it's up to any First Lady what she chooses to do with the public role. It's hers to define, and no two women have handled it the same way. Laura Bush was decidedly not a trendsetter, but she didn't aim to be. I don't actually think Michelle Obama aims to be a trendsetter - I think she aims to set an example of values in action, and that's what this is about. If people want to follow her actions as a trend, that's up to them.
posted by Miko at 8:16 AM on March 20, 2009


The microscopic obsession with the Obamas' (the entire family) choice of basic lifestyle stuff? Fashion, what dog they'll get, having a garden, going for a swim, etc.? I think it's more rooted white peoples' imagination that black people are strange and different ("Terrorist fist bump") etc.

Yes, they have dogs. Yes, they have gardens. For Fuck's sake people, if you only know a major portion of the population through rap videos, you need to check yourself.
posted by yeloson at 8:17 AM on March 20, 2009


I think it's more rooted white peoples' imagination that black people are strange and different

Um, no. I think it's that they're basically a middle-class family and they're recognizable. Reaching beyond short memory, it's easy to recall the early public reactions to the Clintons in the same way - 'they're like us!'.
posted by Miko at 8:21 AM on March 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeloson, I would say that the obsession with the Obama's everyday-life-stuff has more to do with the fact that they are the first family than it does with their race. We get this way about every new president, particularly ones many people are excited about. It's a form of celebrity, and we get this way about any celebrity.

...All this talk about people being able to plant gardens has me very, very jealous; I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be able to have a small potager garden of my own, simply because home-grown stuff just tastes better. Alas, not only do I rent, I'm on the 4th floor, have no yard access, and no balcony, and so I'm limited to two windowsills which are right now taken up by two very large herb plants. *sigh*

....Although, there are some vegetable or fruit plants I have heard do well in containers, so I may look into that this weekend...and hey, I have a membership at the Botanic garden, so I can get a discount on seeds and pots...(thinks)

....'scuse me, folks, I think I have some research to conduct. (wanders off, deep in thought)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on March 20, 2009


But why is the FLOTUS* such a trendsetter?

Anyone who gets that level of public attention can be a trendsetter. It's not even a matter of people admiring the trendsetter so much. It's more a matter of a certain percentage of people who hear about the trendsetter doing a certain thing or using a certain product and thinking, "Hey, that sounds like a good idea. I'll try that." I remember reading how Monica Lewinsky wouldn't tell an interviewer what kind of perfume she wore because whenever she said she wore a product there was a run on it. Julia Roberta went on Oprah and raved about knitting, and there was a resurgence of young women knitting. When The Simpsons first aired there was a trend of little girls starting to play the saxophone. When Shania Twain said in an interview that she used a product called "Bag Balm" on her hands, the company that made it (Lee Valley Tools, which is a Canadian company) couldn't keep it in stock. Bag Balm is a product orginally intended for farmers to put on their milk cows' udders if they were sore. It can work in reverse too. Just yesterday we had a post about how the French are reading a book their president said he hated.

And I definitely think Michelle Obama knows full well that her example is a powerful force, and I'm thinking we'll definitely see more significant trends set by her than anything on the level of a pillbox hat.
posted by orange swan at 8:34 AM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]



I think it's more rooted white peoples' imagination that black people are strange and different


Nah, just that they're relatively young, and good-looking. Same deal as with John Kennedy.
posted by dilettante at 8:38 AM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's more rooted white peoples' imagination that black people are strange and different

The Obamas are a living embodiment of the stereotypical American family. They made their own way, weren't born into wealth but worked for and earned it, have a positive energy, a storybook romance, adorable kids, are hugely photogenic, the list could go on. That they've managed to not only retain but solidify attributes while running a two year campaign that came from nothing to be President of the United States, it understandable that people are fascinated with them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:50 AM on March 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yes, they have dogs. Yes, they have gardens. For Fuck's sake people, if you only know a major portion of the population through rap videos, you need to check yourself.

I'm really not seeing anyone being all, "Hey, black people garden!" The reaction is, "Hey, the First Lady is putting in a garden!" This is news because it's the first White House vegetable garden since WWII.
posted by orange swan at 8:54 AM on March 20, 2009


There's also something of a generational thing happening, too. Obama's only 9 years older than me. I caught a few minutes of the Leno appearance and heard Obama saying that flying on Air Force One was cool because you got to wear a jacket Presidential seal on it. I have difficulty imagining a president of a previous generation, even Clinton, saying something like that.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on March 20, 2009


Heh. R1 encoding is the icing on the shit-gift-bought-last-thing-from-from-7-11 cake.
posted by Artw at 9:08 AM on March 20, 2009


not only do I rent, I'm on the 4th floor, have no yard access, and no balcony, and so I'm limited to two windowsills which are right now taken up by two very large herb plants. *sigh*

Community garden plot? Look around your town/city, there might be a community garden already. If not, they're really easy to start.
posted by Miko at 9:08 AM on March 20, 2009


I'm looking forward to the Obamas brewing their own mead!

After all, it is in the White House Cookbook
posted by maurice at 9:12 AM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's more rooted white peoples' imagination that black people are strange and different

No, it's rooted in the American people's imagination that politicians' families are strange and different, and then along come these people who seem like real, actual people.
posted by dersins at 9:22 AM on March 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


And yet, I am not hope filled. Don't get me wrong, this is swell, but that whole 'first since victory garden' thing just sort of strikes a chord of rationing and the great depression and what not. It's what we need, but it reinforces the 'holy crap, things are bad' thing I got going in my head.

Maybe the Obamas just want to teach their kids about where food comes from? They have already taken steps to keep their family firmly grounded; this garden could be an extension of the girls' continuing adventure of "real life" inside the White House.
posted by killy willy at 9:28 AM on March 20, 2009


Penny'll get you a quarter that the dog rats digs it all up.

Ftfy. The rats on the White House lawn are unbelievable.
posted by rusty at 9:48 AM on March 20, 2009


I imagine they're not going to let her dig too deep with all the bodies probably buried there.

What I'm looking forward to is one of those cool Obama economic summits where the Republicans lose their words, and then Michelle comes strolling out with a basket of tomatoes and cucumbers to share with everybody.
posted by troybob at 9:50 AM on March 20, 2009


rats

That's what the snipers are for.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM on March 20, 2009


I'm eating Ramen out of the bag while I drink Nescafe and smoke.

And when I'm president, you all will too.
posted by saysthis at 9:51 AM on March 20, 2009


I think dersins is on to something. There seemed to be this elitism vibe, like you had to be above folks in order to lead. That's been an unfortunate part of our history, but one repudiated by pretty much every President since Washington who snubbed the idea of being a monarch.
It's not even populism, it's just being 'just folks' that's part of the American tradition. Heard a guy on NPR a bit ago expound on foreign affairs who had a royal title (baronet), I imagine Mr.Milk mustache would have loved that when he got the U.N. job.
But it's not who we are. We're a republic of free people. No nobles, no titles, none of that. I don't know what that kind of money does to people. Been around a lot of money folks and you never know how it's going to affect them whether they made it themselves (some folks who did that have a real chip on their shoulder about it too) or they're new money or old money, whatever.
I tend to get wedged into a sort of knight/lord position I s'pose with those folks. But y'know, I'm the same guy I was ten minutes ago when we were talking, but oh, they didn't know I was that Mr. Smedleyman. Ugh.

"Maybe the Obamas just want to teach their kids about where food comes from?"
No, I think there's a genuine altruism there. And a desire to lead by example, which is outstanding.
Y'know tho, no matter how much exception one lends a perspective there's always some pushback. At least for me. I don't know what PareidoliaticBoy is on about. Hey, Hitler was evil, but he did in fact have a heart which pumped blood to his organs like other bipedal primates. "No he didn't how dare you imply blah blah blah"
Irksome.
I started paying some real attention to the economy, job figures, all that, reading up because I wasn't that well informed on it. And it scares the crap out of me. And here is this very nice gesture. And it bothers me that we need it.
Nothing to do with the thing in and of itself. It's great they planted a garden. They may well have done it if we were rolling in money. But what strikes me is how badly we need to have this and things like this.
If you've ever been dehydrated, and I don't mean 'gee I'm thirsty' I mean 'holy crap I'm gonna die' you know that it's very hard to drink water. It causes all sorts of pain and if you drink too much you have extreme cramping (like dry heaves, but that's all without treating electrolytes and yadda yadda - but take the point) - that's a sign just how badly you need it. This to me is of the same order. Good thing. But hurts that we need it so bad.
I can sew my own sutures, but I hate watching kids get injections too. Same deal. Medicine. It's good for 'em. Just makes me wince.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:51 AM on March 20, 2009


Now they just need Chance the Gardener as an advisor!
posted by naju at 9:53 AM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's more rooted white peoples' imagination that black people are strange and different

Oh bullshit. I just watched the Leno thing on Tivo and was thinking about why the dog and basketball and kiddie stuff was so appealing: it's because he's a man of natural grace and charm and charisma, so he's intriguing like Kennedy, but he also has an ability to seem like a normal person, so he allows people to empathize with him.
One of the big draws of the show The West Wing was imagining what it would be like to be behind the scenes of a place like that, raiding the White House kitchen for ice cream and being knocked out at seeing the Oval Office for the first time. The interest in the Obamas' swing sets and gardens and puppies is akin to that, I think.
Also, there's a powerful draw to anything new and elegant and genuine after the Bushies.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:53 AM on March 20, 2009


Or what dersins said.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:54 AM on March 20, 2009


Community garden plot? Look around your town/city, there might be a community garden already.

Oh, there are several, but they all have very long waiting lists for open plots. :-(

I'm definitely making a trip to the local botanic garden this weekend for simple-for-container things, though, maybe a box of salad greens and then a hanging basket of either cherry tomatoes or strawberries.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:31 AM on March 20, 2009


Is that where bums grow?
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on March 20, 2009


There seemed to be this elitism vibe, like you had to be above folks in order to lead. That's been an unfortunate part of our history, but one repudiated by pretty much every President since Washington who snubbed the idea of being a monarch.

But embraced by Nixon and George W. Bush.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:40 AM on March 20, 2009


Oh, there are several, but they all have very long waiting lists for open plots. :-(

So your community needs more! Seriously, see about starting another one with some of those folks on the waiting lists. In my multitown region we had two when I moved here 5 years ago. Today there are seven and a few more under way.
posted by Miko at 10:55 AM on March 20, 2009


I applaud your enthusiasm, Miko, but competition for real estate is tight in New York, even for community gardens.

Thank you, Mr. Giuliani. :-(
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:57 AM on March 20, 2009


I dunno kirkaracha, Nixon used a great deal of populist language and imagery. I'd call him more of a populist, and he played cards, all that, pretty much a regular joe at heart, although, yeah, he certainly held himself above the law so he's still an elitist, but not the kind I'm talking about.
Bush, same deal, although his populism was far more transparent. There was little question despite the cowboy affectation and populist rhetoric that he was a rich guy. Body language alone. Hell, look at him speaking to Tony Blair.
You did have, in the past, people who embraced a more elitist view of governance. John Adams most certainly (natural aristocracy, etc.), and an et.al. which would include, by their acts Nixon and Bush.
Whereas FDR looked like an aristocrat (hell the pince nez and cigarette holder are iconic) but was closer to middlin.'
On the other end of the scale you've got Andrew Jackson throwing a white house party where men in muddy boots were standing on chairs.
I guess I'm just talking style. FDR I think is unique because his style was aristocratic, but also home spun with the fireside chats - which would have scared the hell out of me then too, but I would have agreed was necessary. I mean March, 1933, we were in some sorry shape. And I'd be thinking 'it's so damned bad the president has to get on the radio' even as I'm thinking 'thank God the president is on the radio.'

The garden thing tho is really homey. Which is a nice change of style. Don't think I would have wanted Bush (or his family) in my house. The Obamas I'd be delighted to see move in next door. Swap some venison for some peppers, etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:00 PM on March 20, 2009


One of the big draws of the show The West Wing was imagining what it would be like to be behind the scenes of a place like that, raiding the White House kitchen for ice cream and being knocked out at seeing the Oval Office for the first time.

I think it's also the fascination most people have with royalty (love it or hate it, many are fascinated). The President is the closest you guys have got to actual royalty (and in many ways, POTUS lives like a king).
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:57 PM on March 20, 2009


Maybe the Obamas just want to teach their kids about where food comes from? They have already taken steps to keep their family firmly grounded; this garden could be an extension of the girls' continuing adventure of "real life" inside the White House.

That was my guess. And it's appalling how separated people are from their food now. In the past I've had to tell co-workers that yes, butter does in fact come from cows and milk, and to identify vegetables like squash and broccoli and asparagus to cashiers (no mushrooms, though).

Obama's supposed to be kind of a foodie, isn't he? This probably is important to them - does anyone know if they gardened in Chicago?

The whole thing makes me feel sorry for myself, because we moved to a new town and live in an apartment and I can't go out and plant things like I did in our last city. It's good to go dig in the dirt - it's good for mental health. What's with all these defective lottery tickets? I want a yard, dammit!
posted by dilettante at 4:11 PM on March 20, 2009


Nixon may have used some populist language and imagery, but he also said he was above the law and promulgated an Imperial Presidency complete with ridiculous uniforms. Bush--prompted by these fuckers--followed and exceeded Nixon's example.

The President is the closest you guys have got to actual royalty (and in many ways, POTUS lives like a king).

One of the original names of the White House was the President's Palace.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:29 PM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


dilettante: Looking at the Google Maps image of their Chicago house (across from the synagogue), there does not seem to be vegetable garden, although it's a little hazy behind the garage.
posted by nax at 6:21 PM on March 20, 2009


For other DC area residents who wish they could have a garden: Sharing Backyards (other cities too).
posted by naoko at 8:02 AM on March 21, 2009


there's also the world food garden project; i remember first hearing about contemporary victory gardens from them: "According to World Food Garden, during WWI and WWII, 40 percent of produce was grown in small gardens at home, and it’s time to bring that figure back, [for] gardeners and small farmers to promote a modern Victory Garden movement throughout the world by encouraging anyone with a little land, a rooftop, a balcony or terrace to start a vegetable garden."
posted by jojo-dancer at 8:40 AM on March 24, 2009


So I decided: I splurged at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend, and now have one window box of strawberry plants on my windowsill, and a bunch of seeds started -- about five container tomato plants and 20 baby bok choy. I'm big on bok choy, and can keep re-sowing all through the spring and summer -- it doesn't look like it takes that much sun, so I can tuck that into one window that gets a little less sun. Then I just have to find a big pot to tuck a couple of the tomato plants into and I'm all set.

Although: any New York Mefites who want to adopt a tomato seedling should contact me (I'll probably only be able to fit two or three into a pot, that means another two or three who'll need a home).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:09 PM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Unsurprisingly the heads of the Mid America CropLife Association, a trade group whose mission is to identify business issues relating to food production and to take action to address those issues identified as important to our membership. is less than thrilled with with the organic nature of the Whitehouse garden.
the thought of it being organic made Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador Coordinator and I shudder.
They also managed to imply in a letter to the Whitehouse that people growing there own food can't be leaders in advancement of science, art, education, transportation or medicine.
posted by Mitheral at 8:34 AM on April 19, 2009


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