News

Squirrels relish White House garden as shutdown sidelines staff

Squirrels relish White House garden as shutdown sidelines staff

GARDEN GONE WILD: The White House garden is being overrun by squirrels during the shutdown. Photo: Reuters

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the famous White House kitchen garden, tomatoes are rotting on the vine. Herbs have gone to seed. And the sweet potatoes – a favorite of President Barack Obama – have become worm food.

It’s another impact of the government shutdown, one that only the fox and the many squirrels that live on the White House grounds could love.

A foodie blog called Obamafoodarama that obsessively covers the White House “food ephemera” and the administration’s food policy has posted photos of the normally immaculate garden looking more like what most gardeners’ plots appear at this time of the year – overgrown.

“Due to the shutdown, garden maintenance has been reduced considerably and only being watered as needed,” a White House official confirmed, speaking on background.

First Lady Michelle Obama started the garden on the White House south lawn in 2009, the first time vegetables had been grown there since Eleanor Roosevelt’s “victory garden” during World War II.

She uses the garden as a vehicle to talk about healthy eating and reducing childhood obesity. Some of the produce is used at the White House, while much is donated to a local soup kitchen.

The foodie blog, run by editor Eddie Gehman Kohan, said White House gardeners are allowed only to water the plots and cannot harvest the vegetables. White House staff who normally volunteer to pick the weeds are off on furlough, Gehman Kohan said.

“Pounds and pounds of ripe organic bounty have gone to waste,” she wrote.

“Weeds are springing up everywhere, and the vegetables that have already fallen off the vines are now mouldering on the ground,” she said.

She posted photos from cameras near the garden beds on her blog, including one of a squirrel eating a cherry tomato.

Squirrels are like “kids in a candy store, gorging themselves” on tomatoes and peppers, Gehman Kohan said.

Latest Stories

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Two Men Jailed Following Weekend Incident

Updated
Damaged Dark Chevy 80215 (sent to us)

Two 18-year-old men are behind bars following incidents in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Police Investigate Gunshots On McIntire Road

Police car lights (from clipart)

City Police are investigating Saturday morning gunshots on McIntire Road and a car being abandoned on Hillsdale Drive.

in Entertainment, Lifestyle

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: 26 freebies to help you celebrate

birthday

On your birthday you can have your (free) cake and eat it too!

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Election, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Navy Welcomes Sub Named For Warner

Digital Camera

The U.S. Navy's newest submarine is named for Virginian John Warner.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: Chris Farley in ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’

13-overlay19

This mashup is both hilarious and impressive.