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Prune Juice Media | December 5, 2016

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Michelle Obama’s Garden Back Online In Shutdown’s Wake

Michelle Obama’s Garden Back Online In Shutdown’s Wake

| On 21, Oct 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama White House garden

First Lady Michelle Obama gets dirty in the garden in happier pre-shutdown times.

There was one unlikely product of the recent government shutdown that’s back online. It’s First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden.

The agricultural oasis had been furloughed right along with hundreds of thousands of federal workers for 16 days. The employees tasked with tending to it were sent home and no one was allowed to maintain its upkeep.

For two and a half weeks, squirrels got the best of the vegetation. Weeds and crops were overgrown and nothing was picked. The whole thing was a mess! Even the White House lawn was not mowed and began to collect dead leaves.

White House garden overgrown government shutdown

The garden in a state of disarray. (Photo via Eddie Gehman Kohen / Obama Foodorama)

Once the government came back online on October 17, the National Park Service sent tools over to the White House to help bring the garden back to its presentable state. The first day they simply played catch-up on the lawn, but later they got around to tending to the garden.

One thing I learned from this report was how detailed the shutdown was. You would think that “Oh, it’s a garden. Who’s going to notice that someone is out picking the crops to keep them from rotting?” Nope! The garden was strictly off-limits as, per the Anti-Deficiency Act, it can be a felony to spend taxpayer money without their approval.

Now America has its famous Kitchen Garden back up and running. The White House has promised to donate some food to a local charity, per their usual plans. There are talks of an Autumn Picking Party similar to previous harvest seasons. However, because of the shutdown, it’s unclear if that will happen this year.

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Note: Several facts in this post were sourced from a story on Obama Foodorama, the official site of record for the White House food initiatives. Unfortunately, I am having a technical issue linking to their specific posts today. Please visit Obama Foodorama directly for further information about their content.

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