Friday, September 5, 2014
The White House Kitchen Garden
Last week I went on a pretty exciting adventure as far as gardening is concerned. The farming organization that I work for was chosen for a private tour of the White House kitchen garden! Although I wasn't allowed to bring my camera, I was able to snap a few shots on my iphone. We all had our fingers crossed that we would meet Michelle but she is a busy lady as you can imagine so we settled for a run in with Sunny and Bo, the Obama's dogs!
Located on the South Lawn, the garden was beautiful and extremely well kept and organically grown, full of some of the Obama's favorite fruits and vegetables. They eat lots of different salads so the garden was chock full of a variety greens and even a papaya tree (that gets over wintered inside) for one of their favorite papaya salads. When I asked what Mr. President's favorite vegetable was I was answered with "he likes everything but does not like beets." So there were none growing in the garden.
I was most intrigued with those stunningly gorgeous Chinese purple long beans which can grow up to three feet in length and peanuts which I have always wanted to try growing.
There were many heirloom varieties growing from Jefferson's Monticello garden such as sea kale and Purple Calabash tomato. After Jefferson left the White House in 1809 and moved to Monticello, he grew 170 varieties of fruits and 330 varieties of vegetables and herbs!
The White House kitchen preserves some of the garden food pickling things like baby radishes and carrots that have been served at many prestigious State Dinners
And I was most excited to share with Melissa the first White House beehive! When White House chef, Sam Kass found out that the White House carpenter, Charlie Brandt was a beekeeper hobbyist he was quick to find out how honey could make it's way into the White House kitchen. Here's a little video on the hive. And why are there bolts and straps holding the hive down? For keeping it from blowing away from the White House helicopter which takes off and lands right there on the lawn.