Another Shutdown Bummer: Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden Is in Ru

amberroses(10a)October 16, 2013

I found this article today. Wouldn't it be a great message if Michelle and her kids tended the garden personally? I mean it is sort of ridiculous to encourage people to grow their own kitchen gardens and then say it requires a full time staff to keep it going. Don't they have friends to help? So if times get difficult we should just give up our food supply? Invite some of those photo op school kids to help and teach them some real gardening skills instead of just showing up to harvest the results.

Here is a link that might be useful: Another Shutdown Bummer: Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden Is in Ruins

This post was edited by amberroses on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 9:27

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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Sad story, but I'm rather skeptical w/o seeing photos....

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:48AM
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amberroses(10a)

There are lots of pictures at this blog.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos

This post was edited by amberroses on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 20:26

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:39AM
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amberroses(10a)

See above

This post was edited by amberroses on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 20:28

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:59AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Amber

A lot of people are very enthusiastic in the beginning of the edible garden, once they find out it is more work than an ornamental one they loose interest. I have seen it all the time around my neighborhood even the community gardens are on decline here.
With the coming cold weather the edible gardens up north are at their end of the season and it is time to clean up, I am sure there are a lot of helpers there, I doubt very much any manicured Lady will be doing garden like us.:)
I saw two of the pastry chefs from the White House when I was at Monticello, they were very thin! recipes were tasty but not great.

Silvia

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 2:42PM
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amberroses(10a)

Silvia, you need go to the White House and show them how to tend a beautiful and productive kitchen garden.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:17PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Silvia, you need go to the White House and show them how to tend a beautiful and productive kitchen garden.

Amen ;-)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 7:29PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Thank you Amber and Tom, you are being very nice.

For me the garden is just a continuation of my kitchen, vegetables and fruits are good for cooking and fresh eating, ornamentals are the decoration of the outside room.

Lunch today was an herb israeli couscous with fresh herbs from the garden, just harvested arugula and nuts.
For those that do not like arugula, not all are the same, the variety that I have planted now came from Italy, it is not bitter and has a taste of pine nuts,delicious!

Silvia

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:45PM
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toomanyprojects(10a/10)

Sylvia, Do you know the name of the arugula? I would love to try it as I am one of those with a distaste for the usual arugula.
thanks!
Marla

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:33PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Marla, I got the arugula from the owner of a winery that I visited while in Italy, the seed packet doesn't have a name variety. In previous years I tried a lot of different sources for arugula and they don't taste the same. Recently we took it to a potluck for people who don't like vegetables and the salad was the first to go and with praises from the people. It had a combination of arugula, dried cranberries, pickled beets from the garden, candied pecans, goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Silvia

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 5:17PM
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toomanyprojects(10a/10)

Thank you Silvia! Looked it up on the web and found an Italian arugula with a description of taste as you described. I may order this! Planted my sugar magnolia purple peas in October and they are leggy and leaves are curling! bummer. Trying to water only every other day and they were planted in soil from my compost heap with chicken manure. How much sun do they need? They only get 4-6 hours a day. I am hoping they get stronger soon!
Marla

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:32PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Marla, the problem for peas is that it has been too hot, peas like the colder weather. After my pole beans stop producing, I will plant my purple peas, where I plant them one trellis have more sun exposure than the other but they still produce.

For now I have in the garden super sugar snaps growing.

Silvia

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Kasima

#1, the first lady doesn't sit on her backside all day. She works a good 60 hours a week all on her own.
#2, the garden is HUGE. I certainly couldn't take care of it by myself, and
#3, how do you know she and the kids don't work in the garden? Don't believe everything the extreme right wing says.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:38PM
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amberroses(10a)

#1- I never said she sits on her backside all day. I said or rather suggested that she should tend it during the shutdown. As I recall, the kitchen garden was started as an example that people should be growing their own organic gardens and eating healthy foods. This was Mrs. Obama's social policy issue. I support this issue. It's similar to Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden. Let the lawn grow or the roses black spot, but save the food.

#2 I didn't say she should take care of it by herself. Since it is on the White House lawn it must look nearly perfect. It must function as a show garden for the tourists. She needs assistance to achieve that level of grooming.

#3 I know that they occasionally harvest the garden during events while wearing nice clothes. I do not know the total extent of their actual involvement in the garden, but if Mrs. Obama and her children had worked in the garden during the shutdown, it would not have looked as bad as it did. If she truly viewed the garden as her own, she would have gone out there and tended it while the workers were furloughed. A photo op of them working in the garden during the furlough would have really been an inspiration.

The source of this story is not "the extreme right wing." The blog that first reported it is devoted to following The White House social scene. The blogger covers the Presidential dinners, events, recipes, gardening, fashion, and stuff like that. I gather from her posts that she really likes the Obamas. According to the blog everything is perfect again in the garden.

I don't want to get away from the gardening aspect of my post since this is gardening forum, but since you brought it up I'm not a right wing extremist or left wing extremist. I'm not much of a vanilla political moderate either. I like to make my own observations and form my own opinions about things. It doesn't really do anything for my popularity, but I have become fond of forming my own thoughts.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:20AM
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babalu_aye(zone 9b - St Pete FL)

I know I'm late to the discussion, but isn't October the time of year when Northern gardens die out anyway?

John

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Orlando-Dave

I certainly don't expect the first lady to spend a great deal of time tending a garden considering the positive influence she can have in some many different areas. Unless she really had a passion for it that is.

Kasima, not everyone that is critical of the President is an "extreme right winger". Every president that has sat in office has had legitimate things to be critical of. Free speech is what makes the USA the greatest country in the world.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:49PM
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pnbrown

From the blog:

"Mature plants are routinely socked into the beds to keep the garden looking lush and full. These are grown in a National Park Service greenhouse that East Wing aides only half-jokingly refer to as "top secret," or donated by a certain local farmer who has offered growing advice.

Before the shutdown, brown and yellow leaves were immediately whisked away. Diseased or bug-infested plants were removed rather than treated. Exactly one year ago, Mrs. Obama's garden was a pristine tableau for the annual Fall Gardens & Grounds Tour, as can be seen in the photo, above, taken on Oct. 14, 2012. "

IOW, it wasn't a real garden, more of a fantasy. Now, thanks to the shut-down, it's a bit closer to being a typical garden, where plants overgrow, bugs show up, and weeds make an appearance without the world coming to an end or anyone thinking it is a "ruins".

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:09PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Amber, I always value your opinions in the Florida garden forum....

Hi Pat, that is a good point to think about it.:) When I went to Monticello and Echo the real gardens were at display, some dead leaves, bugs and all. Now, the garden at Epcot they are continually replacing the spent plants at night, so nobody see ugly, it is a fantasy.
In my garden I get visitors all the time, even from people walking down on the trail, so I try to keep it at least clean every day but with vegetables in transition all the time, sometimes it doesn't have the full look. Yesterday I had a young mother with 2 little girls visiting and they thought the veggies were beautiful, especially they liked to see the banana bunch for the first time and I gave them fresh meyer lemon lemonade and to take home cucumbers and sungold tomatoes to start them right with the experience.

Silvia

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Kasima

I'm sorry. I am overly sensitive about people who criticize when they don't know the whole story. I think it's ridiculous that they can't have outsiders come in to work on the garden. Who knows, some of those laid-off workers may have done some of the work for free rather than see their garden go to rack and ruin. From what the article says, they were not allowed to care for it, except to water and clean trash. That's absurd, because there are too many gardeners who would have donated a couple of hours a day to keep it up.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 3:07PM
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saldut

It looks exactly like my garden did in Canada at the end of the summer...everything overgrown and dying and stuff piled all over waiting for whatever... we would have picked all the 'maters in Sept. green or otherwise, the greenies got wrapped in newspaper and stored in the cellar, where they slowly ripened... the lettuce would have been long finished, the only thing growing yet would be some root-crops, parsnips left in the ground to dig when there was a warm-thaw, they are much sweeter after a freeze... cabbages would be lifted roots and all, and replanted in the root-cellar floor, where they could be harvested all winter.... most of what was left by now and finished would be piled for compost..... the snow sure covers a lot of 'mess' ! LOL, sally

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 3:45PM
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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

Isn't there always at least one pill in every conversation. I was going along happily reading about everyone's garden experiences, advice and compliments to Silvia (much deserved, by-the-way) and BAM. Sad.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 2:43PM
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