White House garden


First lady Michelle Obama helped break ground Friday on a new vegetable garden on the south lawn of the White House. It will be the first garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a “victory garden” during World War II. The garden will provide food for White House meals.

The Obamas are setting a great example for the rest of America. Homegrown vegetables are healthier (no chemicals) and cheaper (total cost for seeds, mulch, etc., is $200, according to The New York Times). An economic recession is the perfect time to plant a garden!

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If you didn’t catch C-SPAN’s White House Week programming when it debuted earlier this month, the public service cable network will begin an encore presentation of all seven nights of shows Sunday.

It was an ambitious project by C-SPAN that was both hit and miss. I watched most of it, so I’ll share with you what I thought were the best parts in case you are interested in learning more about the White House but don’t have the time or desire to commit 14 hours to watching all seven days of programs.

First up is a 105-minute documentary called “The White House: Inside America’s Most Famous Home,” which provides an informative, overall look at the history and layout of the First Family’s home. The program starts at 1 and 6 p.m. ET Sunday. I recommend watching the whole program, as it is one of the best parts of White House Week. (If you miss it Sunday, the documentary will air again at 1 and 7 p.m. ET Friday, followed by a feature about making the documentary.)

As far as I’m concerned, you can skip the second night (Monday), which is all previously aired White House tours by presidents and first ladies. The lengthy tour by Jackie Kennedy is especially annoying thanks to the monotonous, uppity tone of her voice. The one segment from this night’s program I didn’t see the first time it aired is an old televised tour of the renovated White House given by President Harry Truman, so that last part might be worth watching.

Tuesday’s show offers an interesting look behind the scenes at what some White House employees do during the course of a day’s work. However, I think some segments are too long and needed more editing before being aired.

The theme of Wednesday’s show is “The White House Gardens and Grounds,” and the half-hour segment about that subject is worth watching. But that’s about it for that night.

Thursday’s show, “The Lincoln White House,” is a must-see part of the series. It includes a lengthy segment about Lincoln’s summer home three miles from the White House.

As mentioned earlier, the Friday feature is a repeat airing of Sunday’s show, which is worth watching.

The series goes out without a bang Saturday with a show featuring interviews with President and Mrs. Bush (much of which were shown during earlier installments). A few historians also share stories about the White House, and those are worth hearing, but unfortunately account for only a relatively short segment of the show.

The shows airing Monday through Saturday begin each day at 1 and 7 p.m. For more information about the series: http://whitehouse.c-span.org/