Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Garden Homage: Burpee Seeds Creates Replica of the White House Kitchen Garden in Honor of First Lady Michelle Obama

President Obama gets foodie homage; the First Lady gets garden homage...
Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama, the W. Atlee Burpee & Co. seed company has created an excellent replica of the White House Kitchen Garden at Fordhook Farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The greeny sanctuary is a test site for the company's cultivars, and this year, CEO George Ball decided that re-creating Mrs. Obama's garden was a swell idea. (Above: Ball, in the replica White House Kitchen Garden)

Ball has repeatedly praised Mrs. Obama and the White House for bringing such big attention to gardening, and credits the First Lady with sending his seed sales soaring. To replicate the White House garden, Ball says that his gardeners used the now-widely available diagram of the South Lawn Kitchen Garden plot, but also tossed in some heirloom veggies, and took into account Pennsylvania's soil and weather conditions.

Ball likens Mrs. Obama's food agenda to President John F. Kennedy's physical fitness initiative.

"It is the kind of program that should please people across the political spectrum. It is inexpensive to implement, and the return on investment is extraordinary," Ball said.

Ball is so fun he even took a photo in the replica Kitchen Garden with his own dog, Nathan, as a stand-in for the ever-popular First Dog Bo. (Above)

The replica Kitchen Garden will be open to the public for viewing on September 25-26. Also scheduled for the event is a planned "Presidential Luncheon," and yes, President and Mrs. Obama have been invited. UPDATE: The President and First Lady did not attend.

Related: Another White House Kitchen Garden replica was created in May this year for Bloom 2009, Europe's largest horticultural fest, held in Ireland each year. The White House has just released an excellent new video on the Kitchen Garden; watch it here.