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Ear to the Ground

White House Garden Isn’t Just for Show

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Posted on Feb 1, 2012
White House / Samantha Appleton

While the first lady runs the talk show gantlet to promote her healthy lifestyle agenda, the garden she planted on the South Lawn of the White House is producing the ingredients for seasonal meals served to the first family and its guests.

AP profiles White House chef Cristeta Comerford, who says she was so inspired by the project she planted her own garden at home.

Rather than import ingredients from faraway places, a process that requires special security protocols, Comerford plans meals based on what’s growing on the lawn.  —PZS

AP via Google:

The White House’s new focus on gardening and seasonal cooking has been especially pronounced during the last couple of winters, when most people go to the grocery store and choose from imported vegetables from warmer climates.

The South Lawn garden has hoop houses — open, plastic, dome-like structures — that capture the sun and act like greenhouses during the colder months. Comerford said her staff is able to serve “good hearty spinaches,” collard greens, kale and other vegetables fresh during the winter.

The availability of so many seasonal vegetables out back has shifted the focus of many White House meals.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

Enough fertilizer in this town.

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By Fibonacci65, February 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Apologies to author—gantlet is the term for running down the punishing line and is the correct spelling. It has nothing to do with the glove, gauntlet, thrown down for duel challenges.

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By Dennis in MI, February 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does the 1st lady know her husband is in bed with Monsanto? Organic local gardening is the polar opposite of FDA, USDA priorities. We can’t get GE/GMO labels but the FEDs love to raid whole milk suppliers. We don’t inspect meat processors for years. We don’t study drugs efficacy, the producers do. We let the EPA sit on dioxin issue for 30 years. We have something in the range of 80,000 chemicals that are grandfathered into use that we haven’t studied. Sodium flouride is not calcium flouride and is poison yet the ADA still teaches it’s use. It must be true that eugenics is the program.

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By Fibonacci65, February 1, 2012 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

It’s spelled “gauntlet” and it means running down a line of people with swords out to cut you, but only after you’ve thrown down your glove, asking for the fight—a gauntlet was a medieval glove used by knights.

OK, now that we have that cleared up—nice garden but when, oh when will we get a strong First Lady who might really make a difference—even about food.  Much as I like Mrs. Obama, she could do more, lots more, about eating healthy food grown locally.

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By rend it, February 1, 2012 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

looks just like my kitchen, who does all this gardening? Barak out there on weekends assembling hoop houses?

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By Steve E, February 1, 2012 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

I’m feeling warm all over now. Life is peachy.

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By SarcastiCanuck, February 1, 2012 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Very cool.Look forward to the day we see cows and sheep grazing on the White House lawn.Soooeeeeeeee.

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By sanctimonious purist, February 1, 2012 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is so bogus.  The White House has a huge yard, tons of staff and tons of money to plant, tend, harvest and cook from scratch.  Those of us with real jobs, tend not to have much of that.  So why does the spouse of the most powerful man in the world with regard to agricultural policy, put the burden on us.

Stop the corn subsidies.  Get corn syrup, sugars, artificial colors, preservatives and other additives out of our foods. Mandate livestock be grass or grain fed without antibiotics or hormones. Fund local farms, not agribusiness. Beef up the FDA and USDA to cite wrongdoers.  Fund physical education in schools.  Include wellness payments in health insurance.  Subsidize fresh food markets in low income neighborhoods. Develop local transportation systems for fresh vegetables.  Change zoning laws for more urban farms, etc. 

Don’t give me this BS about how I should be gardening in my spare time between a more than full time job and taking care of my family.  Boy is she clueless!

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By FRTothus, February 1, 2012 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

What is a “gantlet”???

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By Ian, February 1, 2012 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Only a socialist would eat seasonal vegetables grown
in his own back yard.  wink

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