Michelle Obama’s ‘Kitchen Garden’ Book Hits Stands
After a year-long media blitzkrieg, numerous TV appearances, print interviews, and photo-ops, the First Lady Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden book is finally out on the stands. The interest generated by the book, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America”, has crossed borders and made the First Lady popular everywhere. It only helps that the hype generated around the book would also add to her husband’s re-election campaign. But here, all we will talk about is the book.
1) A Kitchen Garden
Ever since Michelle Obama planted a kitchen garden in the White House premises, she has been in the news, not just for the over-achieving garden, which churns out parsley, peppers, eggplant and other goodies, but also for her dedicated compassion for a healthy way of living. Recently, Italy has dedicated a seventh century olive tree to the First Lady in recognition for her efforts to promote healthy lifestyle in America. Encouraged by such positive response to her health efforts, the First Lady embarked upon a journey to write this 271-page book on her gardening resume.
2) The Book
To say that the book is about Michelle Obama’s gardening goals would be an understatement. It is about much more than that. In the book, she talks about hits and misses while planting the kitchen garden, tips on planting a kitchen garden at home, and also about a lot more. She writes in the book about the South Lawn, where the kitchen garden is planted, as “an expression of my hopes” for American children. Her words, “Just as each seed we plant has the potential to become something extraordinary, so does every child” betray the emotional connect that she enjoys with her garden. Speaking about her own journey since childhood to the White House, Michelle writes, “The White House is actually considered a national park, so when I first moved to Washington I wondered whether we would even be allowed to plant a vegetable garden on the lawn, land that had been largely unchanged for decades. After talks with the National Park Service, I was thrilled to find out that the answer was yes, and in early 2009 we began to look for the perfect spot in the grounds. It needed to get enough sun and also be out of the main vista of the South Lawn but still be visible from outside the gate.”
Since she is one of the few First Ladies to pen down a book, her book release has been preceded with a flurry of media appointments. She has done push-ups with Ellen DeGeneres on national TV, served pizza to Jay Leno, as well as played tug-of-war with Jimmy Fallon inside her official residence. About the book, Michelle says, “It turned out exactly as I envisioned. It’s a beautiful book, wonderful pictures. It is definitely a passion - getting the kids in our country to eat healthy. This book is a way to talk about our journey.”
Speaking about the book, it is full of glossy photographs, not only of the First Lady playing around in her garden, but also of the luscious produce that the garden gives out. Bo, the First Dog also makes several colorful appearances throughout the garden patches. The First Lady proudly displays the growth of her garden since 2009 through a series of maps, stories, and even certain how-to sections. Each of the four sections, into which the book is divided, has a group of recipes to complement. Some of the recipes featuring in the book are the ones made with produce from the kitchen garden. These are – “Minted Spring Pea Salad, Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble Pie, Green Beans with Almonds, Corn Soup with Summer Vegetables, Buttermilk Blueberry Bundt Cake, Spinach Pie, White Bean Salad, and Summer Chopped Salad.
5) Charity Behind the Book
Michelle Obama has not accepted any advance for the book and she has decided to donate any proceeds from it to the “National Park Foundation.” The First Lady’s office announced, “All author proceeds will go to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Funds will be used for programs that promote gardening and healthy eating and give young people the opportunity to experience the outdoors and lead more active lives, as well as for the continued care of the White House Kitchen Garden.”
The book has been dedicated to the “nation’s children… to all the farmers, educators, advocates, community leaders, parents,… and to my husband and children.” Michelle Obama writes in her book, “I wanted this new White House garden to be a ‘learning garden,’ a place where people could have a hands-on experience of working the soil, where children who have never seen a plant sprout could put down seeds and seedlings that would take root.” Well, if nothing else, her book will definitely achieve that purpose for the generations to come!
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