White House garden a victim of government shutdown

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2013 - First Lady Michelle Obama's garden on the south lawn of the White House “is filled with unharvested vegetables and weeds, and wildlife running amok” because gardeners have been furloughed in the government shutdown, according to an extensive description Friday on the obamafoodorama.com blog.

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Blog editor Eddie Gehman Kohan writes that “pounds and pounds of ripe organic bounty have gone to waste. The vegetables filling the 1,500 square-foot plot are now rotting away on the vines and in the boxed beds, thanks to the mandate for ‘minimal maintenance' placed on the skeletal crew of National Park Service gardeners who remain on duty.”

Citing a White House source, Kohan says that remaining gardeners are not allowed to harvest the crops. “Weeds are springing up everywhere, and the vegetables that have already fallen off the vines are now mouldering on the ground. There are also mushrooms popping up inside and outside the garden beds, and leaf litter raining from the trees like confetti. The wildlife that lives [sic] on the historic 18-acre campus - including a newly arrived fox now making a home at the White House - are having a field day.”

The garden “is usually curated with obsessive precision,” the blog reports. “Mature plants are routinely socked into the beds to keep the garden looking lush and full.” Before the shutdown, it says, “brown and yellow leaves were immediately whisked away. Diseased or bug-infested plants were removed rather than treated.”

 

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