|first planting spring 2009|
|the book cover|
The main thrust of the book is to inspire all, children in particular, to plant and harvest their own garden, to experience how wonderful fresh-from-the-garden vegetables and fruits taste, and to think about the foods they are eating, and how it impacts health.
|students planting spring 2009|
The first garden was planted in the spring of 2009. All seeds and plants are organic and everything is organically grown. Problems were encountered in the garden. Heavy rains washed away the mulch. The birds got all the blueberries despite the netting that was used. Pumpkins did not do well because the seeds were planted too late.
Along with the first planting was the installation of a beehive on the south lawn. A local beekeeper, who also happens to be the White House carpenter, established the beehive in the spring of 2009. The honey is not only used in the White House kitchen, but is also donated, and is given as gifts to visiting dignitaries and heads of state.
|scouts and students plant the expanded garden|
The garden was expanded in 2010 by 500 square feet to 1,600 square feet. Although Mrs. Obama invited school children and scout troops to plant and harvest every year, she found that adults wanted to work in the garden also. Hundreds of White House staff and the White House chefs all became involved in caring for the garden. The garden became a welcoming place of learning and sharing.
|the spring garden|
The garden changed the way the chefs cooked meals for the White House with vegetables becoming the new centerpiece for meals. They started requesting that certain vegetables and herbs be planted.
|hoop houses for growing winter vegetables|
|first harvest fall 2009|
|students eat what they harvested|
Additional sections in the book profile school and community gardens and recipes developed in the White House kitchen using vegetables and fruits from the garden. Of particular interest to me were the garden designs for spring, summer, fall and winter that were included. The White House garden has had widespread influence, and this book was inspiring to me.