Common-sense veg-growing in Oprah’s magazine


MicheleOprah300 Pick up the June issue and you'll notice a familiar face – our own Michele O urging us to "forget the myth of the $20 tomato".  Her practical and passionate approach is laid out in these simple steps:

1.  Pick a spot, any sunny spot, for your garden.
2.  Dig once.
3.  Be bold and panoramic in your planting.
4.  Water, weed, and pluck the fruits of your labor.

And just one more quote:  "Of course, there are many 400-page guides on the bookstore shelves that make it sound as if a vegetable garden has to be managed with the same precision as a graded college chemistry lab.  Ignore them."

But wait, what about this blurb about Michele from the Contributor page: "Owens is writing a book, Eat the Yard, (Rodale), to be published in 2010."  I think we can safely assume that Eat the Yard will be anything BUT another 400-page guide detailing with anal-compulsive precision what MUST be done.  I read the book proposal and here's a prediction:  It'll be a great read


  1. Christopher, can we say skeptical, rather than lazy?

    The book for the kind of person, who, when told to double dig, thinks, you’d damned well better have a raft of scientific evidence that double-digging DOES something, or I’m not doing it.

  2. (With tongue firmly planted in cheek) Right-wing radio ranter says that Michelle Obama is writing “Vegetable Gardening while Intoxicated with Power.”

  3. I suppose skeptical could work or a natural gardener who works with the forces of nature. I am just willing to freely admit that I am one of the laziest gardeners around, always looking for the maintenance free way of doing things. Yet somehow I manage to spend my life maintaining gardens.

    The thing missing from the short list above is the Mulch, Mulch and Mulch, key to the easy vegetable garden.

  4. Delusional.
    The four simple steps lined out above is simply setting up some unknowing beginner gardeners for failure.
    A little more information in regards to the very basic elements of soil conditions, weed control and watering would help those who want to emulate Mrs. Obama , yet do not have a staff that has done all the prep and maintenance work.
    A little more transparency would be appreciated if she wants to sow the seeds of success.

  5. Y’all do know this article is by Michele Owens, right? Not the other Michelle O.
    And those steps are just headings, under which are the basics about soil, weeding, watering, and mulch-mulch-mulching. But we can’t copy the whole article here.

  6. Having just come in from planting our ritual Memorial Day tomatoes I can tell you my garden is definitley not magazine perfect, but perfection in appearance, and precision in management are not necessary for success. I should know.

  7. Michelle,

    Nice blurb in my Wife’s issue of “O”

    Tell me more of your garden in Salem, New York. I grew up there in the 60s and 70s and had my own garden as well when I was about 10. I still love gardening vegetables now in Gilbert, Az., but find the soil and heat not helpful. Not to mention a family that won’t eat the rewards. Do you sell for local Restaurants or Farmers Markets? I enjoy herb gardens and have used many in my Restaurants in the past. Keep up the good work. Recruit more of your friends to experience Salem, it is a treat.

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