White House garden overgrown during shutdown
October 15th, 2013
01:32 PM ET
9 years ago

White House garden overgrown during shutdown

Washington (CNN) - The partial government shutdown has left the White House garden overrun with weeds, with fewer gardeners to maintain first lady Michelle Obama's pride.

Regular maintenance has stopped on the garden and only periodic watering is being done, a White House official confirmed to CNN. That's consistent with landscaping being performed on all National Park Service areas crippled by the shutdown throughout the country.

The garden, which provides fresh fruit and vegetables to area food banks and helps feed visiting heads of state, has become overgrown. The once pristine 1,500 square-foot plot is now anything but, with ripe crops unpicked and rotting vegetables lying on the ground, according to Eddie Gehman Kohan, the founding editor of Obama Foodorama, a blog dedicated to covering the White House garden.

In the blog, Kohan has exhaustively covered the disarray that has befallen the garden for the last two weeks. Kohan writes that mushrooms are sprouting from the grass and fallen leaves that would ordinarily be raked away immediately are left scattered on the ground.

The warm fall weather has led to a lot of crop growth but the shutdown has left the White House without the staff to pick them, Kohan told CNN.

–CNN's Jim Acosta and Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "with fewer gardeners to maintain first lady Michelle Obama's pride."

    Wow...now there's some blatant Teatroll red-meat baiting if I ever saw it. Pretty lame, CNN.

    Pssst: The appropriate turn of phrase or idiom is "pride and joy," which would more clearly indicate you are referring to the garden, not her personal feelings as if her sense of self-esteem and ego are wrapped up in the garden.

    October 15, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "The garden, which provides fresh fruit and vegetables to area food banks "

    All the more reason to hate at it, right GOPers/Teatrolls?

    October 15, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Just use Mitt's former gardener. He could probably use the work...

    October 15, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. barryinlasvegas

    This garden was nothing more than a political stunt used for a photo opportunity. Did anyone really think that Michelle, who was raised in Chicago, really knows anything about gardening or that she really went out and picked the vegetables?

    Where is the photo of the garden now? Why isn't Michelle and her girls out tending to it? The fact is – they never did.

    October 15, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Boomer in Mo

    It's nearly winter anyway. You ought to see my 30×70' garden. I sowed oats all over it a month ago, and it looks like grass is taking over. The tomatoes are dead. The peppers are going nuts and I have more turnips than I know what to do with. My garden looks like it does on purpose. Mrs. Obama's veggie patch will be just fine.

    October 15, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Ms.Obama, get off the sofa and use them beautiful long legs that God gave you and go clean that garden up! The whole country is watching.

    October 15, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Data Driven

    Well, this should make the mouthbreathing, armpit-scratching people who call the First Lady a "baboon" happy.

    October 15, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    We should have republicans out there doing yard work. This is their fault.

    October 15, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Hector Slagg

    Well, If you have nothing else to report. No doubt a Liberal plan for self reliance. Now conservatives would have that garden clean and well manicured. Liberal's need to get some conservatives to show them how it's done.

    October 15, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Name

    why doesn't Michelle get off her butt and trend the garden.

    October 15, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. buongiorno

    what a joke the garden is overgrown boo hoo Hogwash then do something about it with a clean CR

    October 15, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Data Driven

    And on cue, here they come. Apparently if you lived in a city at any point in your life, you can never learn anything about growing food.

    Pro tip for the conservatives who have, and who will, post on this story before it gets so ugly that comments get closed: the nose is an equally effective transmission mechanism for inhaling oxygen. Try it!

    October 15, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    I am amazed how our First Family keeps plugging along doing the job our President was elected to do and what Michelle wants to do with all the crazies from TEAQUEDA and their Canadian terrorist leader doing everything possible to take them down.
    History will show that as a country we hit a rough domestic terrorist spot but we prevailed and sent the teatards packing.

    October 15, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    It's her garden, let her pull the weeds.

    October 15, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. $$$$

    Joe Biden is supposed to weed the garden after he mows the White House lawn. Dude is supposed to be doing this every Friday. Last time I checked he was still getting paid every week. What gives?

    October 15, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. just saying

    and all this time i thought michelle obama and her two daughters were up at the crack of dawn every morning tending the garden!! bwahahahahhahaa!!!! what a total charade and a farce these people are. obama is a fake president and now michelle is a fake farmer. and we wonder why the country is in such a mess. we have two amateur entertainers in the white house.

    October 15, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. luke,az

    Mrs. Obama is the smartest, classiest First Lady in the history of our nation. Michelle and Barack Obama are truly a wonderful partnership. . My wife and I thank God for them.

    October 15, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Lost in USA

    I just wish the real republicans would stand strong and quit backing down to the tea party. Just like the dems go out of their way to please the far left liberals. Most of the country is somewhere in the middle,so how come we dont get any say so?

    October 15, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Just use Mitt's former gardener. He could probably use the work..."

    Yes, but given Mitt's shall we say proclivities, he's no doubt an illegal, so it wouldn't be all that kosher for the WH to employ him.

    October 15, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Gurgyl

    Use all the tea trolls, GOP thugs to move the lawn–they are the waste human beings. Tell them any way they exit in 2014.

    October 15, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. John H

    My garden is nearly the same size and I do the work by myself with my wife and kids. Guess what, 1500 sq ft garden is only 50×30 feet. They make it sound so massive. Get off your duff and go tend to your garden like you tell other people to do. It is a disgrace that you have to have hired hands to work your garden. We all have jobs too and work lots of hours.

    October 15, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. $$$$

    Use all the tea trolls, GOP thugs to move the lawn–they are the waste human beings. Tell them any way they exit in 2014.
    Either you are from outside the United States or your keyboard is locked in Ebonics mode.

    October 15, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |