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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 8:48 am 
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This thread is about the garden. Not politics, not about man-made natural disasters that have nothing to do with garden. Please peddle it someplace else.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:31 pm 
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The second year of the White House vegetable garden has continued the effort to educate children about healthy eating.
And the folks who oversee the project have made sure there are a lot more photos and plenty of activity around the area.
This year's garden was also 500 sf larger than last year.

If you use twitter, follow ObamaFoodorama at http://twitter.com/ObamaFoodorama, which provides updates and
links to the Obama Foodorama blog (http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/) has stories and lots of photos about
the recent celebration that included harvest and a garden-side cookout with many celebrity chefs in attendance to promote
healthy eating.

Quote:
One major goal of the Task Force is to get kids to dramatically increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables,
and while there was no mention of the report today, that is part of the reason for the garden's existence. Each time the First
Lady hosts an event there, it calls attention to the need for far more fresh produce in kids' diets.


This year's event is dovetailing into the move to update legislation regarding school lunches. The low stipend per meal for each
free breakfast or lunch are such that processed foods and carbohydrates are all that many school districts can manage.

Quote:
As of Friday morning, 990 chefs and 488 schools had signed up to be part of Chef Move to Schools, according to Kass,
and that, too, will help with the goal of increased consumption of produce, as the volunteer chefs work in local schools with kids,
parents, teachers, and school administrators. This will take the form of nutrition education, cooking clubs, helping in school
gardens and helping school chefs, Mrs. Obama said during her launch speech.


There are quite a few celebrity chefs pictured in the blog article. I know this photo will probably blow the page all out of proportion,
because it is very large, but here is the effervescent Rachel Ray, there to help in the garden:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:28 pm 
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Here's a link to an interesting stylized graphic representation of the White House garden layout:

http://www.good.is/post/transparency-obamas-presidential-garden/

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This links to the enlarged version of the graphic shown here:
http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/0906/trans0609thefirstgarden.html

It would be nice to have this space for my own garden. By this time of year everything is always crowded
and falling all over itself. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:59 pm 
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It would be so nice if we could delete these gratuitous one-time spammers who stop by
only to leave their calling card links.

The east coast is under snow and cold still, but I'll look around to see if there is news for
the garden this year. I think they have some winter crops under cover, so there might be
current news. In the meantime, here is a fairly recent blog by a gardener who toured the grounds
and got to ask some questions about the vegetable garden.
http://www.gardenrant.com/my_weblog/2010/10/white-house-garden.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:01 pm 
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My graduate work in both English (Native American literature) and Environmental Ethics (environmental philosophy) regularly
touched on modern problems in Indian Country. Diet is a major contender for research dollars, when one realizes that (in particular)
desert populations that used to practice a special form of beans and squash agriculture based upon the monsoon seasons and the
development of planting around shallow water ponds (charco). When a culture shifts, relatively rapidly, from a centuries' old lean
low-carbohydrate diet for the high-carbohydrate modern diet, diabetes and obesity problems result in much higher proportions than
in the general population. From this understanding, and from the works I've ready by ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan, I have to
applaud the next step in the White House Kitchen Garden: paying attention to the diets of American Indian children. Here is an article
from June 4 about the "Three Sisters Planting".

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The plants that grew around this kind of charco, or rainwater pond, grew fast, and stored well. Gourds, squash, beans, corn, and a variety of other
plants, but it was a very spartan diet, combined with collected seeds, cactus pads and fruit, etc.

The event I've linked to includes this information:
Quote:
"Three Sisters" is the Native American term for corn, beans, and squash. For the planting, Mrs. Obama and the kids knelt at one end of the
1,500 square-foot garden plot, and sprinkled Cherokee White Eagle corn, Rattlesnake pole beans, and Seminole squash seeds into the ground, so the
crops can grow in the traditional Native American way: The corn provides a structure for the beans to climb on, eliminating the need for poles; the beans
provide the soil with nitrogen that the other plants use; and the squash will spread along the ground, blocking the sunlight and preventing weeds from
growing. The seeds were from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.


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I won't go so far as to suggest that anyone involved with the day's activities, with the probable exception of Mr. Keel, understood the drastic calorie
problem that faces Indian Country today. It isn't just that the most available foods are less healthy, or that USDA commodities that supplement school
lunches and food programs are high-calorie high fat and carb foods, it is that the people in question have such efficient digestive systems from desert
life that the moderns foods put their lives at risk. For more information about this, read ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan's Coming Home to Eat or
about the Renewing America's Food Traditions project (Nabhan wrote the introduction to this book).

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:43 pm 
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I haven't visited this thread for a while, but I noticed some new activity at the White House this week - the Kids State Dinner, an event at the White House as the culmination a healthy recipe competition entered by nearly 1200 kids from around the US and its territories. ". . . 54 budding chefs [were invited] to a formal luncheon in the East Room. The guests, all between the ages of 8 and 12, represent all U.S. states, three territories and the District of Columbia."

Here is the story, with links to several videos about the program:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/08/20/first-lady-michelle-obama-hosts-first-ever-kids-state-dinner

Here is conversation about picking the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Recipe Challenge:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2t5EcrP0dQ

Kids' State Dinner guests toured the White House Kitchen Garden on the south lawn.

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