Thursday, March 19, 2009

More on the White House Garden

I know this is only interesting to us gardeners but this is interesting:

On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets (the president doesn’t like them) but arugula will make the cut.

The First Lady said that while the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables.

The Obamas evidently like Mexican cooking and the garden will have cilantro, tomatilloes and hot peppers. I sure hope they have better luck with cilantro than I have. Every time I try and grow it, it bolts before I have had a chance to really harvest any. They also have lettuces planned that will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. Something really cool is that a White House carpenter who is a beekeeper will tend two hives for honey.

I have spent a large part of the day in the garden today and yesterday. It does take work but the rewards are great. All the peas planted last week are up and we strung the support for them today. Pak Choi and other Chinese cabbage is going well as is the roquette, chard and lettuce. Spinach hasn't broken through yet but the first of the French breakfast radishes are peaking out. Onions got mulched well yesterday as did the garlic and everybody got a drink of fish emulsion. Cauliflower, cabbage an brocolli plants are all starting to settle in and show some growth. Didn't lose a one to the shock of transplanting. Leeks are still basically invisible but I think I see some growth. I also managed to put in a new 4x6 asparagus bed yesterday. I won't get any this year and not a lot next but by year after we should be rolling in the stuff.

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