American Grown by Michelle Obama

You might remember a few months ago when I was lucky enough to meet Michelle Obama, shake her hand, and get an autographed copy of her book, American Grown.

It was amazing, and thanks to my Aunt M, who came with me, I had an extra copy of the book to giveaway, which I did.

Anyway, I wanted to actually read the book, and since it’s a nonfiction book that is more coffee table than novel, it took some time.  But it was so worth it.

Michelle Obama shows how deeply she cares about gardens, fresh food, health, and childhood obesity.  Her introduction to the book was so moving I suggest that you stalk the shelves at bookstores just to read it (because I think it will encourage you to purchase a copy for yourself).

Some of the quotes/things that I loved about the book:

  • “Just as each seed we plant has the potential to become something extraordinary, so does every child” –p. 23
  • Did you know there’s a White House beehive???  And they give away excess honey to visiting (or when they visit) dignitaries.  I wish I was someone important enough to have some of their honey!
  • Did you know that apples come from Asia?  I didn’t, but that’s one of the facts I learned while reading.

There are also many recipes, which are some of Mrs. Obama’s favorites, tips for building your own gardens, and spotlights on many of the neighborhood garden spaces in the United States.

I also like how honest Michelle Obama is in the book.  She talks about the successes, of course, but also some of the gardening failures, too.  It seems very genuine.

American Grown is for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.  This book was amazing, with not just beautiful pictures but also tons of amazing facts.  The First Lady really shows her passion in this book, and it is one that will make you smile and feel good no matter what your political views are.

Plus, all of the proceeds go to the National Park Foundation, which I think is pretty cool.

Are you the gardening type?


Interested in getting your own copy? Check it out on Amazon & IndieBound. I get a small percentage if you purchase from those links, and it doesn’t cost you any extra.


23 thoughts on “American Grown by Michelle Obama

  1. That’s weird about the apples! Do all apples in US grocery stores come from Asia? Apple trees can grow here, can’t they? I know we import all kinds of things that can easily be produced here, but food is different. I’m not sure why, but that really disturbs me! Maybe I should plant an apple tree in my backyard and take a swing at growing my own.


    • Good question! I think it’s just that the first apples came from Asia, but now we have lots of apple trees in the US, too. And probably in other countries. But to me, the apple doesn’t “feel” or “seem” like a typical Asian food, which is why it surprised me! It’s not like the book said baby corn is from Asia or bok choy was first grown in Asia. Those make sense. But America has kind of adopted the apple as being “all-American” which is why knowing it originally came from Asia was such a surprise!


      • Interesting fact about the apples and I love the conversation between the two of you. Living in the Pacific NW, I can guarantee you there are plenty of apple trees growing here. But those first juicy little babies did come from Asia, a fact that has slipped into a dark hole.


        • And you knew that??? Cool! I feel like it’s a very little known fact that I now want to spread across the world. Yes, I’ll be that person telling anyone eating and apple that they originally came from Asia. 🙂


    • This book also delves into community gardens, which is something I love the idea of, since many of the community gardens are in low income areas. It’s filled with amazing facts and pictures, too. As a not-sure gardener, I think it is a good book for both gardeners and people who like the idea of gardens.


    • Yes! There are great tips for starting your own garden, whether it is in containers or in the ground, along with tips and tricks. Plus all of the other things, like the spotlights on community gardens and farmers markets, are really interesting too.


  2. I’m a gardener and I really enjoyed this book. I love reading the story of the beehive and how the President thought the bees might sting him! Plus, it was great to learn more about victory gardens. Great post.


    • The recipes are only at the very end. It’s one to stalk at the bookstore first, but I found it full of interesting info. Especially if you like the idea of knowing more of the food/chef/human side of the White House.


    • So when I met her, she had spoken for a little bit, and mentioned that they aren’t her recipes, they are her favorites that the chefs in the White House kitchen make. She said they really are her favorites. She seemed genuine when talking about how she wrote the book. My guess? She dictated it to someone and then approved it. She’s too busy to write it out herself!


  3. Like Jen I’m mad I didn’t win that other copy and like Allison I don’t cook all that much and don’t garden cause I live in a mini-forest, so why am I whining? Just cos. 🙂

    Loved your review and appreciate the interesting facts and comments you shared with us. What an experience to actually have been there!


    • Too funny!!!! I think the book is really enjoyable even if you don’t do any of those things, as long as you like the idea of learning more about other people’s gardens (which sounds boring, but it’s not, and I’m not like a garden person!).


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