The White House Garden

I recognize that this is not very recent news, but I am sure that many of you did not know that in the residence of the President of the United States a garden is grown like the one that many of you have in your patios or gardens, a domestic garden for the home consumption of fresh vegetables.

Michelle Obama along with some of the American schoolchildren invited to the White House

Since 2009 the cultivation of the White House garden has been underway, we will now see why, how and what is grown in this urban garden in the city of Washington.

Why did Michele Obama decide to put a garden in the White House?

According to the first lady of the United States, and as we have said many times in Agrohuerto, having a garden at home provides multiple benefits for the mental and physical health of our family. In addition to having fresh and recently harvested food, we are the ones who grow it, so we know exactly what we are eating.This is a good way for busy moms away from home, according to Michelle, to ensure healthy eating for the family. In addition, as she says, there is no risk of wasting and throwing away food that we buy and then do not use, since we only harvest what we are going to eat. All this together with the physical activity that is carried out when cultivating the garden, which is not too much, but it helps us to stay active, and the satisfaction, relaxation and relief that it entails (those of you who cultivate a garden, I am sure that you know what do I mean).

According to Michelle, having a garden where we can choose foods and innovate is a good way to get children to try different types of vegetables and herbs and experiment with different flavors and aromas. In addition, they will learn a little more about healthy food and the importance of nutrition, as we have seen in some posts about the interest of school gardens.

For all this, the First Lady decided to start almost as soon as she arrived at her new residence, in 2009, the White House garden. One of her main objectives was also to promote this healthy lifestyle and try to change the eating habits of many Americans, whose children are currently threatened or suffering from diseases related to poor nutrition such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. _

Health and how we feel depends largely on what we eat, so with the garden, in addition to ensuring better nutrition and health for her own family, Michele Obama intends to initiate a change in the diet of US citizens whose nutrition is generally not very healthy, often lacking in sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables.

What is grown in the White House Garden?

I have seen a video on Youtube and, as Michelle shows us, the White House garden has a wide variety of vegetables, which are the ones that her family likes to eat, such as sweet corn, various varieties of tomatoes, «sweet potatoes » (what Hispanics call sweet potato or sweet potato), lettuce, rhuilabo, onions, peppers, garlic… and also many aromatic herbs and to season and flavor your food, such as oregano, chives, thyme, mint, sage…

We usually see these plants only as a simple condiment for the kitchen, but it is very interesting to give them the importance they deserve in the garden because herbs are often the basis of delicious dishes… As is the case with basil, used to make the famous and delicious Italian recipe for “pesto sauce”, (according to Michelle, in her family they love basil because they love pesto and her chef uses it very often to make this sauce), or coriander, which is the base of many of the dishes of Hispanic American cuisine such as Mexican food.

From what I have seen, what is not lacking in the White House garden is variety, and Michele, the people who grow it, as well as the chefs, innovate each year to introduce new foods that are then served on the table of the Obama but also at some of his official state dinners. In fact, I was surprised to learn that one of the latest additions has been mushroom farming.

More about the White House garden

Every year, the garden hosts a kind of meeting or day to promote, in a more direct way, the cultivation of gardens and the interest in a healthier diet. The activity is part of the «Let’s Move» campaign, aimed at fighting childhood obesity problems, and in it more than twenty children from various states are invited to come to the White House garden to plant, harvest, and learn more about the importance and benefits of a good diet.

The White House garden. Source:

About a third of the food grown in this vegetable garden is donated to Miriam’s Kitchen, an organization that helps the homeless in Washington DC.

These and much more about the White House garden, plus stories from some of America’s most famous community gardens, tips for beginning gardeners, and even recipes for garden vegetables, have been included in the first Michelle Obama’s book: American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.

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