Book Review: American Grown

American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
by Michelle Obama

272 pages, hardcover
Crown Publishers, 2012
List price: $30.00

Our nation’s First Lady inspired many to give gardening a try when she led the way at the White House in 2009. Along with her kitchen garden, gardens sprang up everywhere and those who’d been doing it for decades cheered.

American Grown is part history book and part motivational manual. Telling how we got to be a nation of overweight people due to both our food choices as well as lifestyle changes, Mrs. Obama urges us all to rethink them. Perhaps we don’t have the resources that she does, but there are ways to improve our diet by either growing some of our own fresh food or sharing in the bounty of those that do by taking advantage of farmer’s markets. A cross-section of community and school gardens from across the nation are featured, with special emphasis on kids and how we can get them involved.

There have been volumes written on why it’s better for us to eat fresh and how we can do it ourselves. American Grown excels, because it not only presents a convincing case for changing our thinking in logical, inspiring ways, it’s visually beautiful with an abundance of color photographs and renderings of the White House Kitchen Garden. Also included are recipes for cooking up the bounty and a brief compilation of resources. I truly love this book.

Michelle Obama is the First Lady of the United States and the mother of two daughters.  In February 2010, she launched Let’s Move!, a nationwide initiative to address the epidemic of childhood obesity by bringing healthier food into schools and communities, and encouraging kids to be more active.  American Grown is her first book.

Author proceeds will go to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s National Parks. Funds will be used for programs that promote gardening and healthy eating and give young people the opportunity to experience the outdoors and lead more active lives, as well as for the continued care of the White House Kitchen Garden.

Read more garden book reviews.
Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.

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