Sprained backs. Tendonitis. Forearms scratched with deep welts. Slight moans as people lower themselves to a chair, and the soft hiss of breath as a thorn is removed.
Ahh….the sights and sounds of spring. It’s a joy to be back in the garden, isn’t it? Getting ready to grow is in full swing – even Michelle Obama’s in the mood, breaking ground for the White House vegetable garden on the south lawn.
Lucky her; she got to experience first-hand what many of us are going through as we cut ground for our first veggie patches (ok, mine was long ago, but I feel your pain – truly). Minutes after bravely shoveling the turf, muscling it from the ground, she called “put down those cameras and grab a shovel!” to the on-looking press paparazzi.
I admit I’ve become a White House voyeur, following the adventures of the Obamas as it relates to anything landscaping. They’ve broken ground on their organic vegetable garden, a plot Michelle swears will be weeded by the entire family (note: even she admits that her mom may not weed. Instead, First Grandma will supervise the family’s efforts).
The March 19 article in the New York Times outlines the motivations and fun surrounding the effort. Of note is that the garden will be raised beds fertilized by, among other things, White House compost.
I had no idea the White House had a compost, but I suppose if one has a steady supply of manure it has to go somewhere. How festive it must look with all that red tape in it.
The plot is well planned by the twin efforts of Dale Haney, Grounds Superintendant, and Sam Kass, Assistant White House Chef, to be functional and nutritious. See the plan for yourself – it reads like a map of Washington.
My buddy blogger Carl at Front Range Food Gardener was impressed by the claim that 55 varieties of vegetable will be gown. For you novice gardeners – don’t try this at home. Gardening is a hobby; what they’re planning takes staffing.
Yet, somewhere in the excitement of installing the vegetable garden, a tell-tale slip occurred, when someone admitted that there will be no beets in this garden, because the President doesn’t like them. Oh, sure, I am fully behind growing what you like to eat – after all, it’s a core tenant of having the garden – but in the case of the most influential man in the nation, well…this may cause scandal. Need I remind you of broccoligate with Pres. H.W. Bush?
Stay tuned for more updates on the adventures of the First Garden.