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American Grown: The Story of the White House…

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens… (2012)

by Michelle Obama

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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).

For the full review, visit Love at First Book ( )
  LoveAtFirstBook | Aug 25, 2013 |
It is perhaps readily apparent that this audiobook lies way outside the scope of my ordinary reading. Way, way outside. However, since it was given to me, I resolved to listen to it, despite my lack of interest. I expected to be bored to tears with gardening tips, but it really wasn't that bad. Not exactly a glowing commendation, but, considering how little the subject matter has to do with me, that's fair praise.

The focus does lie primarily on gardening, with tips for how to create and maintain the garden, as well as how to know when to harvest. Amateur gardeners could certainly find this a helpful resource. Along with that, there's quite a bit of interesting history. The book does feel a bit convoluted, though, with sudden jumps from story to story. This could have been much better organized.

More interesting to me, though, were the parts where gardening took a back seat to Michelle Obama's work as a whole. This audiobook clearly serves to promote her ideas about gardening, healthy foods and obtaining exercise. Certainly, I am one of those people who could benefit from listening to her, and I admire her passion and that she's actively working on improving the country.

Though I am not the ideal audience for American Grown, I recommend it highly for those interested in starting a garden or in Michelle Obama's efforts to create a healthier United States.

Michelle Obama does the bulk of the narration, and I credit her with keeping me from utter boredom. She has a very beautiful voice, and it's so full of her passion and commitment to her cause. You can hear how much she cares in her narration, and it made everything much more meaningful than it might have been had some other narrator been hired.

The other narrators take only very short sections. They vary widely from White House staff to garden managers to Olympic athletes. All of them were involved with the White House kitchen garden or similar projects, and, while, in theory, getting to hear from these different contributors in their own voices was interesting, it didn't really pan out that way in practice. Very few of them had what I consider to be pleasant voices to listen to, and I was always grateful when I got back to Obama's narration. ( )
1 vote A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
I gave this book to my wife for her birthday, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself. It appeals to me on so many levels! I love the garden designs, and thinking about why they are the way they are, and enjoy the stories of Michelle's commitment to community and healthful eating. The pictures are gorgeous! It's an inspiring book. ( )
  poolays | Nov 17, 2012 |
Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, wants America to grow city gardens. “American Grown” tells the story of how the White House Kitchen Garden began and gives examples from other city gardens across the country. Beginner gardeners will find tips on soil, containers, water, weeds, and bugs. With plenty of photos and stories, gardeners will find plenty of inspiration to start their first garden! This is Mrs. Obama’s first book. ( )
  westfargolibrary | Jun 28, 2012 |
This is a book about gardens and gardening, It features gardens and garden ideas
across the country, and spanning the seasons. There are delicious looking recipes at
the end of the book. We see and hear about the White House Garden, which I loved the
idea of from day one.

This book is about communities, generosity and nutrition. This is about children, the aging
and dogs . This is a book about everything you want to think about in the summer, and what
you should want to think about year round. Planning is one of the keys, sharing is another. And
of course, a garden gets us moving so it is very much a book about what is important to this first
lady. Children, nutrition, good healthy food and living. I will pick this up many times in the future.
It makes me smile :) ( )
7 vote mckait | Jun 13, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307956024, Hardcover)

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.        

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A sumptuously photographed guide by the first lady describes how her daughters and she planted a vegetable garden on the White House's South Lawn as part of an initiative to raise awareness about childhood obesity, in a reference that shares gardening tips, recipes and advice for making healthier food choices.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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