American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America

4.2 33
by Michelle Obama

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In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted a kitchen garden on the White House’s South Lawn.  As fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs sprouted from the ground, this White House Kitchen Garden inspired a new conversation all across the country about the food we feed our families and the impact it has on the health and well-being of our children. 

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In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama planted a kitchen garden on the White House’s South Lawn.  As fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs sprouted from the ground, this White House Kitchen Garden inspired a new conversation all across the country about the food we feed our families and the impact it has on the health and well-being of our children. 
Now, in her first-ever book, American Grown, Mrs. Obama invites you inside the White House Kitchen Garden and shares its inspiring story, from the first planting to the latest harvest.  Hear about her worries as a novice gardener – would the new plants even grow? Learn about her struggles and her joys as lettuce, corn, tomatoes, collards and kale, sweet potatoes and rhubarb flourished in the freshly tilled soil.  Get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at every season of the garden’s growth, with striking original photographs that bring its story to life.  Try the unique recipes created by White House chefs and made with ingredients just picked from the White House garden.  And learn from the White House Garden team about how you can help plant your own backyard, school or community garden. 
Mrs. Obama’s journey continues across the nation as she shares the stories of other gardens that have moved and inspired her: Houston office workers who make the sidewalk bloom; a New York City School that created a scented garden for the visually impaired; a North Carolina garden that devotes its entire harvest to those in need; and other stories of communities that are transforming the lives and health of their citizens.  
In American Grown, Mrs. Obama tells the story of the White House Kitchen Garden, celebrates the bounty of gardens across our nation, and reminds us all of what we can grow together.        

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her well-intentioned first book, First Lady Obama presents the semi-organized tale of the White House Kitchen Garden. Shortly after her husband assumed office, Obama and a class of fifth-graders broke ground on the first food-producing garden since Eleanor Roosevelt's WWII-era "victory garden." Here, Obama details the evolution of the current 1,100 square foot patch, and expands her story to touch on community gardens, farmers' markets, the importance of the availability of fresh foods, and her "Let's Move!" initiative to fight childhood obesity. Organized according to the four seasons, Obama concludes each chapter with timely recipes, including spinach pie, a corn soup to go with freshly harvested summer veggies, linguine with a savory mushroom bacon sauce, and white chocolate-cherry-carrot cookies for a sweet wintry treat. In addition to these "highlights," 40 pages of season-specific recipes are included. Though narrative structure is not Obama's forte (she frequently pauses mid-story to offer tips for home gardeners and advice on how to build a better lunch), this is nevertheless an eye-catching and engaging book. Those looking for a linear story will likely be frustrated, but folks interested in fresh, local food; Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign; and life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will find plenty to enjoy here. Photos.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Dominique Browning
…charming and thought-provoking…American Grown is a warm and personable record of [Michelle Obama's] very public garden's changing seasons.
—The New York Times Book Review

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American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools, and Communities 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
SandraHP More than 1 year ago
Odered this for the Nook Color. Very nicely done and informative. Love that the proceeds are going to charity. Keep up the good work.
DoubleDekker More than 1 year ago
Just bought this to share with my daughters. We have our first garden patch growing in an attemptto eat healthier and avoid a lot of the contents in processed foods. Extremely easy to read and enjoy for the inspiration for recipes! Love the photography, the layout of the chapters and knowing our money spent is going to charity as well as having an heirloom book to share with my girls for years to come.
watergirl1 More than 1 year ago
Excellent! The First Lady has done a lot to promote healthy living for all age groups. I respect her and admire her. She also promotes healthy lifestyles for our children. What better way to celebrate the bounty of our land than to grow vegetables and prepare them? I applaud Mrs. Obama's class and style.
Veuve_Cliquot More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and enjoyable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, I have bought the book and am reading it. No, it is not particularly political, though it contains a message that everybody interested in nutrition and fresh foods should heed. As a long-time gardener, I am glad to add "American Grown" to my collection. But I also highly recommend it to potential gardeners. Buy it in hardcover to keep and enjoy for the photography.
SuzW More than 1 year ago
Beautiful book for the Nook Color! It's a large book, so you have to make room for it, but the pictures are phenomenal. Mrs. Obama didn't know much about gardening initially, but she learns as she goes, as do all of us. I'm partway through... can't wait to finish it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so inspirational, it made me want to start a compost pile and grow more than just some tomatoes in the summer!
casacelisgirl More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I have been slowly expanding my garden from a 6 x 6 ft plot to over 650 sq feet the past 6 years. I have made mistakes, and had wonderful harvests. As I read this book, I was saying "Ha! I did that too" or "Ohh! I need to try that." I am already thinking about the changes for next year. This book is also inspiring a couple people in my neighborhood, and we are talking about starting a small community garden in our sub-division. The book is written in an easy, yet thoughtful manner. If you are a new gardener, or someone who has been at it for years, you can learn from this book. It was also nice to learn about the history of the gardens at the White House, and I was thrilled to learn about the honey bees. My 8 year old daughter, who loves to work in our garden and in her school's garden, loves all the photos of Bo, and loves the little side stories about him. This is more than an instruction book, it is a beautiful story about America and her gardens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to give this book five stars but I can't. Mrs Obama lives the life she wants others to be able to enjoy. This book, with it's stories of almost every past Presidential family and they concern for healthy food and family gardens, provides a wealth of information. However, this should have been listed as a Nook magazine, not a Nook book. Like all Nook magazines, the pictures are brilliant, but you can not choose your formatting styles, highlight or make notes. That is why I had to bump it down to 4. As a magazine, it is a 5. As a Nook book, very frustrating.
brightstarr More than 1 year ago
Awesome woman awesome mission..this is a book review spot...not one to spew political the end of the day politics has nothing to do with her gardening except it gives her a platform. Seems she cares about some kids health more than their parents do. Learn respect.
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
You might remember a few months ago when I was lucky enough to meet Michelle Obama, shake her hand, and get an autographed copy of her book, American Grown. It was amazing, and thanks to my Aunt M, who came with me, I had an extra copy of the book to giveaway, which I did. Anyway, I wanted to actually read the book, and since it's a nonfiction book that is more coffee table than novel, it took some time.  But it was so worth it. Michelle Obama shows how deeply she cares about gardens, fresh food, health, and childhood obesity.  Her introduction to the book was so moving I suggest that you stalk the shelves at bookstores just to read it (because I think it will encourage you to purchase a copy for yourself). Some of the quotes/things that I loved about the book: "Just as each seed we plant has the potential to become something extraordinary, so does every child" -p. 23 Did you know there's a White House beehive???  And they give away excess honey to visiting (or when they visit) dignitaries.  I wish I was someone important enough to have some of their honey! Did you know that apples come from Asia?  I didn't, but that's one of the facts I learned while reading. There are also many recipes, which are some of Mrs. Obama's favorites, tips for building your own gardens, and spotlights on many of the neighborhood garden spaces in the United States. I also like how honest Michelle Obama is in the book.  She talks about the successes, of course, but also some of the gardening failures, too.  It seems very genuine. American Grown is for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.  This book was amazing, with not just beautiful pictures but also tons of amazing facts.  The First Lady really shows her passion in this book, and it is one that will make you smile and feel good no matter what your political views are. Plus, all of the proceeds go to the National Park Foundation, which I think is pretty cool. Are you the gardening type? Thanks for reading, Rebecca @ Love at First Book
lilann1961 More than 1 year ago
Regardless of your political views, Mrs. Obama did a great job writing this book! Beautiful pictures, great stories on the White House garden and other victory/community gardens. She is donating proceeds to the Park Service. I highly recommend to anyone who loves gardening and knowing where your food comes from. She sends a very important message of how important it is to get our children involved in nature and healthy food! I love White House history and I cannot wait to visit DC and take a tour!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is full of wonderful information and gorgeous photos. Mrs. Obama is the perfect role model for a healthy lifestyle. I'm buying hard cover versions too.
lib2012 More than 1 year ago
Read the intro online and I can't wait to get my copy in the mail. I can already tell this is going to be a good book. Mrs. Obama is an exceptional person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must have for any reader. Very insightful and entertaining. Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is good love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful photos, easy to follow gardening tips and delicious recipes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mom and I are truly inspired by you. I knew you had special gifts from the Lord! Beautiful Book!
UserMike More than 1 year ago
If you want a very good or exceptional gardening book, go with one of the books themed toward square foot gardening, this one is good (three stars) at very best. If there was the option, it would have 2.5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
macman36 More than 1 year ago
to all the people who do not have this book. Before you critize this book you should read it before you complain i have read this book the first three chapter it have provided helpful tips since i read this book i am buying more fruits and vegetables its a good book for reading and learining at the same time so please go ahead and buy it for you book collection it truly is a wonderful book and i am so please to have it i got it from strand book store for a discount.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago