June 17, 2009


There are many, many legitimate news stories that need to be written criticizing the arrogance, missteps, and outright lies of the Obama Administration, but Matt Drudge's attempt to drum up "PeaGate"—insinuating that Michelle Obama faked her White House garden, is really reaching...

... and more than just a little incompetent.

You'll note that there are two links in the photo, the first goes to the press release about the March 20th planting of the garden,and the second links to the press release about the June 16 harvest.

That's 88 days... well within normal boundaries for many plants grown as early-season vegetables, including those mention in the harvest press release.

Peas? They can be ready in 60 days. Lettuce? Looseleaf, butterhead, and romaine, range between 40-75 days.

It took maybe 20 seconds on Google to look that up. That's 20 seconds that could have saved Drudge from making a complete ass out of himself.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 17, 2009 11:49 AM

What bothers me more is every time we see Michelle, why does she have that tight-lipped death look on her face?

Posted by: WK at June 17, 2009 12:06 PM

Great post, well put, please fix that bizarre (but understandable) typo about "20 seasons"...and then delete this comment, if you like.

Posted by: AGuy at June 17, 2009 12:07 PM

Yeah, but we should appoint a Special Prosecutor just in case.


Posted by: JayC at June 17, 2009 12:07 PM

Also, Michelle honey? You might want to re-think that low cut scoop-necked shirt when you're doing a lot of bending over, especially when there are lots of cameras taking photos of you.

Class will out.

Posted by: Stoutcat at June 17, 2009 12:11 PM

Lettuce hope and change. We know they can raise money. Drudge is getting a bit like the MSM, too busy to check facts.

Posted by: Joe Buzz at June 17, 2009 12:13 PM

Yes, but what about arugula?

Posted by: lorien1973 at June 17, 2009 12:15 PM

"...why does she have that tight-lipped death look on her face?"

I'm not a Michelle fan, but some people just have that kind of neutral expression. It doesn't necessarily mean anything.

I say this as a light-hearted optimist who is asked many times "What's wrong?" because my natural countenance happens to be solemn.

I've also known very serious people who constantly appear on the verge of laughter.

No need to read things into her face absent other evidence.

Posted by: Mateo at June 17, 2009 12:17 PM

All Drudge did was link to the planting and the harvesting. Why does this make Drudge an "ass?" The "Miracle Grow" comment? My guess is that he doesn't care how long it took. Why do you? I mean, they're just photo-ops for Michelle, for pete's sake.

Posted by: Will Cate at June 17, 2009 12:18 PM

They didn't grow nearly as fast as Hillary's investments in Global Crossing or Cow futures.

Posted by: TexasRainmaker at June 17, 2009 12:25 PM


You forget. The White House Magic Veggie Organic Garden was created for a total cost of, per Michelle Obama, $200,

The WHMVO garden is 1,100 square feet. It has about a dozen different plants. The plan for the WHMVO is available on the White House web site.

Also, keep in mind that three weeks after the garden was planted Michelle made a point of saying that the First family had eaten salad made from greens planted in the WHMVO garden.

All this is No.Big.Deal --- except that it's easily recognized by people who actually garden, as a Big Lie.

Either the garden cost around $1,500-2,000 which pays for pre-started plants and organic soil ammendments for the 1,100sqft plot or else they planted seeds and brought in stunt plants for the photo op.

or the total cost was $200 because garden plants with a total value of $1000 were donated by an unnamed person. In which case we can file an FOIA request. Andy by "we", I mean "you".

But no matter how it's parse mere humans can't get an 1,100sqft garden for $200 that produces the way that the WHMVO garden apparently does.


Posted by: BumperStickerist at June 17, 2009 12:26 PM

Of course peas can grow in 60 days, starting on March 20, that is if you live in Florida. Unfortunately for Michelle (and us) her husband took a job in Washington D.C. where March is WAY to early to plant. Just check what the temperatures were in D.C. in March and April. Too much manure here.

Posted by: Ken D at June 17, 2009 12:42 PM

I live about 20 miles east of the White House and I've been harvesting my peas and lettuce for about three weeks now. I started both peas and lettuce from seed. The peas were planted March 1st. The lettuce was planted at the end of March.

No scandal, move along.

Posted by: Vivian Louise at June 17, 2009 12:45 PM

She has that expression because she hates what she is doing. And I don't blame her. Gardening sucks.

Posted by: Jack at June 17, 2009 12:46 PM

Ah, we need a veggie garden Czar, and many more garden workers to weed, fertilize, water etc. who require good health care benefits and great pensions after all, gardening is backbreaking work, so disability should kick in early as bad backs and knees will occur with all the bending and kneeling. Maybe an oversite commission to make sure all is being accomplished in a fair manner so no one is left out...Ha...I love fresh picked produce and veggies myself.

Posted by: Grace D at June 17, 2009 12:47 PM

Bumperstickerist -- they're not counting the cost of the White House groundskeeping staff fertilizing and weeding the garden.

Posted by: Rob Crawford at June 17, 2009 12:47 PM

Bob is right this is nothing about nothing. I'm in Philadelphia and I planted lettuce and arugula (the presidential vegetable) from seed around May 1st, and I've been eating them both Since before the end of May. 3 weeks for babby lettuce? Not a problem. Made arugula pesto last week.

Posted by: Eric Blair at June 17, 2009 01:07 PM

The author is right about the grow times... I left some letuce in the ground a little longer and its already going to seed / past its prime... also I could set up a 1,100 foot garden for $200 if it didn't have a wall around it... which I don't see one in the pictures... but if you don't live at the white house, you should build a wall and cover it with bird netting to keep out animals...

Posted by: Thomass at June 17, 2009 01:15 PM

I do believe that it's the first time in history that peas have grown this fast.

Posted by: Rosie O'Donnell at June 17, 2009 01:19 PM

Nice garden. Nice plants, too.

Must have used a lot of pesticides.

Posted by: Dusty at June 17, 2009 01:33 PM

Even at $200, she's a piker as manager of the Olde Plantation. I plant a larger plot for far less, exotic salad greens included. And we kulaks lack her access to subsidized field hands and child labor.

The peas are ready, though. She's got that in her favor.

Next season I hope to see pygmy goats and some of those cute little mini-steers.

Posted by: comatus at June 17, 2009 01:34 PM

Good to see Confederate Yankee has the "courage" to defend our wookie marxist first lady against the baseless charges leveled by a right wing extremist with a "don't tread on me" sticker on his Jetta Turbo Diesel. Probably has a copy of the "Turner diaries" in the trunk.

I nominate Confederate Yankee for the Noam Chomsky award for journalistic integrity.

Posted by: Karl at June 17, 2009 04:47 PM

Those aren't peas* in that second photo, guys, so snark about pea growth rates won't help.

* I'm no master gardener, but I've grown peas. And those? Not peas. Lettuce, looks like.

Posted by: Sigivald at June 17, 2009 06:24 PM

1) Plant seeds
2) ???
3) Profit!

I'd like to know about step 2. Who did the weeding, fertilizing and watering? How many man-hours of gardening did Michelle personally do, and how many man-hours of gardening were done by other people, be it volunteers or professionals.

She seems to be promoting subsistence farming to the general public, which is an insanely inefficient way for modern Americans to get their food.

Posted by: jms at June 17, 2009 07:00 PM

I think you meant to say, "That's 20 seconds that could have saved Drudge from making a complete ass out of himself AGAIN."

One of the things that has really amazed me the last six months is the way Drudge has dropped off the radar. Virtually nobody seems to care what he says any more, except where we can get a little bit of innocent fun out of his posts. Sorry, Matt, I think you're over.

Posted by: Green Eagle at June 17, 2009 09:39 PM

Green Eagle, whatever you're smoking, I want some of it. has received more than 24 million hits in the past 24 hours, and 634 million in the past month.

He may not be on _your_ radar, but clearly that's not true for a lot of people.

Posted by: Will Cate at June 17, 2009 09:51 PM


Posted by: jdb at June 17, 2009 10:47 PM

Fact is, you can grow a LOT of food in 200-300 square feet of raised bed gardens.

jms says: "She seems to be promoting subsistence farming to the general public, which is an insanely inefficient way for modern Americans to get their food."

I would equate that statement with the more commonly used term for bovine brown organic garden supplements.

Growing a family garden is most certainly a very efficient way to produce food for one's family and to enjoy the fruits of one's labor. I suppose that your concept of modern Americans is quite different than the millions of us actually ENJOY gardening.

To each their own.........


My hat's off to you for this thread CY.

Posted by: Dude at June 17, 2009 11:30 PM

Jeez, guys, it's like you've never gardened before. Lighten up.

Considering that there's Iran, DOMA, the IG scandal and the Treasury's printing presses sinking our economy, there's a shitload of problems to highlight. This shouldn't even be on the radar.

Posted by: Bill at June 18, 2009 10:47 AM

BumperStickerist says she only spent $200 of her own money to plant this garden. Well, bravo!! That's certainly less than those $540 shoes she wore to the food bank in May. (Now that's irony, folks.)

And how much are we footing the bill for Michelle’s mother to live in the White House... even though she never lived with them before he was elected President. A recent NYT article said “she entertains visitors from Chicago.” So are we paying for all of them to eat and stay at the White House, too? Maybe Barak should go ahead and invite his auntie in Boston and half brother in Kenya to join them.

And finally, what was the final bill for their date night to New York a few weeks ago? Did they pay for the transportation cost? Any which way you look at it, that entire episode (like the first six months of his presidency) was just pure arrogance!

Posted by: Uri at June 18, 2009 11:42 AM

Haha thank you BumperStickerist and Uri for getting to the heart of the matter.

Whether the Obamas can garden or not is not the issue. The question is, what are they doing with our tax money? This may seem inconsequential when compared to the horrors of the national debt, socialist health care costs, and bail-out plans, but it still points out what kind of people we're stuck with running our country!

The kind of people who will lie about the cost of a small garden or any donations contributing to it will have NO compunctions deceiving us about the national spending projects illegally forced upon us already.

Posted by: LaMagdalena at June 18, 2009 11:57 AM

Lettuce? Looseleaf, butterhead, and romaine, range between 40-75 days

And that's if you are allowing them to grow to maturity. If you want mixed baby greens you can have a harvest two to three weeks after sowing.

Posted by: ThomasD at June 19, 2009 01:44 PM