Last year Michelle Obama and I started our gardens at about the same time. Hers is 1100 square feet, mine a humble 48 squarefeet. Michelle had lots of help with her garden; we did ours ourselves. And let's not forget that FLOTUS gardens in much more fashionable footwear than I do. Still, we both experienced the joy of planting seeds and eating good food we grew ourselves.
Here's a nice reflection on what the garden did for the White House, the Obamas, and (one can hope) for public health. Naysayers aside, the White House garden is pure genius. The garden allows the White House to put issues of health, nutrition, and quality food front-and-center. The garden involves kids and honey and other domestic things, making Michelle seem more "accessible" to average (read: white) Americans. The garden's bounty, donated to food pantries and soup kitchens, reminds us about poverty. And the garden attracts the attention and support of the growing home-and-food-and-garden crowd, both the foodie snobs and lovers of Paula Deen and Top Chef. Like I said: genius.
FYI, here's what our garden looked like this morning. That spinach peeking up? Not my doing, just leftovers from last fall's seeds, as best I can tell.
image credit (top): "Children from Bancroft Elementary School help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden April 9, 2009." Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton.