White House Veg Garden is ON!


ABC has the report.  And a little bird told me that Michael Pollan told him/her that it would be announced this week, probably Friday.


  1. YAY! Even if the residence staff does a lot of maintenance, I bet if the girls get out in the garden, they will enjoy it! Kids love being out in the dirt! I hope they get the chance to plant radishes and lettuce and zinnias and other things that are fun and easy to grow.

  2. Great news! Maybe a White House garden will inspire millions of folks to grow some of their own veggies. In a rough economy, it’s hard to beat the return on your dollar that you can get with a good vegetable patch.

  3. Hooray! Best news I’ve heard all day! Was it Alice Waters? The petition? Are they gonna rip up any lawn? I can’t wait to find out, this is so great.

  4. You know guys, I am a huge garden enthusiast, but this is just pandering. I hate to be a kill joy, but I mean, it has to be said. I can not stand pretenders, I just can not abide them.

    The Obamas aren’t doing any gardening. They aren’t into this, they don’t care at all, I doubt they will visit or even touch the earth once with their own hands.

    They’re instructing the servants to plant them a garden off on a distant segment of the 16 acre estate, where it will be out of viw. It’s a public relations campaign – the sound and the fury, signifying nothing.

    It isn’t going to inspire a darn thing; it just makes me more cynical than ever…

    – Jay

  5. Whoa Jay. Did you get out on the wrong side of the bed with a glass half full of juice?

    No, the “pander” people left the House! Ding Dong the Dope is gone!

    Thrilled at this garden news!

  6. Barbara –

    A glass hall full of juice? No no, I am afraid MY glass of juice was half empty…

    Hah 😉

  7. I agree partially with Jay. This is a public relations ploy. The White House has had a roof top garden used by the president’s chefs for years.

  8. I don’t care if the Obamas spend a minute in the garden. The simple statement that vegetable gardens are not dirty and ugly, but beautiful spaces worthy of the President’s lawn is huge!

  9. Hey Jay: Of course it’s about publicity. What’s wrong with that? They are publicizing their support for a good cause. How can anyone possibly put a negative spin on this? I admit that Obama gives you very little to work with but picking on this is really silly.

  10. Publicity is all fine and good. Publicity in this case is probably even what things need.

    What worries me, is that it might be carefully timed publicity to distract us from the new food bill – which word on the street says ain’t so good for small local farmers.

    I’ve seen more reports on the garden than the law, and the law seems more important.


  11. I don’t believe any of the food-borne illnesses arose from small farms — just from mega operations. In their rush to protect us, I’m sure the bureaucrats will assume every food producer is as big as General Mills. So we need to push back. Hard.

    And I think having a White House garden in a public spot is a great thing, whether the Obamas have the time to actually work in it or not. (ABC showed a closeup of a location that appeared to be in view of the street — is that accurate?)

  12. The White House is the people’s house. So Jay, publicity ploy or not, if the people want a garden, then the President needs to plant one!

    Renee and Planting Oaks, the garden bloggers need to mobilize some basic talking points and get their readers and friends to start bombarding their representatives.

    Post some talkers and I’ll drafting an e-mail and make some phone calls.

  13. Yes Renee, that could be an accurate picture. The pix I saw showed 2 men marking off the garden with the Treasury Dept and Ellipse Road in the background. That means the garden will be in the south lawn, so it will be visible to those who walk near the south lawn fence. In the old days (ie, before 9/11) you could get pretty close to the grounds, even with a car. It’s different now, but I think pedestrians will be able to see the garden.

  14. It’s the fakeness of it all.

    “I don’t garden but I’ll pretend that I do so you will like me”


  15. I really don’t think that putting in a vegetable garden near the White House is being fake if the Obamas don’t maintain it. They have a *few* other things to worry about than planting radishes.

    I agree with others that the fact of planting a veggie garden in such a public place is a positive symbolic gesture. Because they seem to be interested in taking in what is going on outside their house (i.e. dyeing the fountains green, getting a swing set, visiting community organizations), I would be very surprised if they didn’t at least take their kids out there to garden, or let the staff garden with the kids.

    I can certainly picture them gardening more than I could the prev. occupants-brush cutting and all.

  16. Who’s pretending? No one said that Barack himself is going out there with a shovel. The article cited above says that the “White House residence staff” will do the work.

  17. Hey, gang. The latest from the NYT story (3 posts up) is that the Obamas WILL be out there tending the garden (at least sometimes), including the TOP GUY! Yep, Michele predicts we’ll see him pulling weeds.

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