While at The Party Source this week for a cooking demo, Doug and I were treated to much more than a tasty meal. Mark Williams, Executive Chef for the Brown-Forman Corporation (owners of many things, including Woodford Reserve) shared a number of foodie insights and stories with us.

mixed-vegetablesphoto credit: Tinker’s Gardens

Did you know that Michelle Obama has started a vegetable garden at the White House? I had not heard about it, so I’ve been doing some research and I wanted to share it with all of you. Maybe it’ll inspire you to get to work on your own garden like it did me!

Snazzy outfit totally optional!obgardenapphoto
photo credit: Associated Press

At 1,100 square-feet, the First Lady obviously needed some help getting the ground ready, so in addition to Sasha and Malia, local students from Bancroft Elementary School joined forces on Spring’s Opening Day – Friday, March 20th – to get the grounds in order.whole-grains1Click here for a clearer look.

You can see from the layout above, a wide array of vegetables will be planted as well as a beehive. The garden will be set on the south lawn of the White House – a fine compliment to it’s thriving flower collections.

In addition to stocking the White House’s pantry with an abundance of fresh veggies, some of the food grown will be donated to Miriam’s Kitchen to help feed and nurture many homeless folks in the DC area.

What a wonderful way to set the national conversation towards healthy eating, as well as making growing and buying local a priority. A win-win for our bodies and our environment.


photo credit: Slow Food UW

I hear this is the first vegetable garden to take shape at the White House since World War II when Eleanor Roosevelt did the same with her Victory Garden. Did you realize that at the end of WWII, over 40% of the United State’s produce was grown by home gardener’s? Sadly, we can no longer boast such stats.

“At a time of economic crisis, a garden can provide a surprisingly large amount of fresh, healthy produce. But just as important, it teaches important habits of mind — helping people to reconnect with their food, eat more healthily on a budget and recognize that we’re less dependent on the industrial food chain, and cheap fossil fuel, than we assume.” Michael Pollan

You can follow along as the garden takes shape here at the White House’s new website for this adventure – WHITE HOUSE FARMER. Planting will begin in a couple weeks, when the students return to help again.

Inspired, Doug and I are getting back into the farming business. We’re gonna plant our way out of this recession I’ll tell ya! We’ve had a garden in past years out at a friend’s farm in Indiana (Hey Bob & Peg!), but with work and P and life in general, we can’t get out there as often as we’d like. We’re gonna carve out a spot in the backyard and plant a few of our favorites. This will be an amazing experience for P to take part in.

I challenge you to do the same! Comment here and let me know any tips or tricks you have for me and tell me what your garden is gonna look like this year. I’ll be sure to share our progress as we go along!

Thanks to the Obamas for getting me excited about such a great and worthwhile venture! Now, if you could you send some of those kids my way to help get my yard squared away- hey,we’d only need a few! – that would be terrific!