How does the White House garden grow? Michelle Obama will tell readers in an as-yet untitled book, set for release in April 2012.
Crown announced Wednesday that it had signed a deal with the first lady to write about her experience tending to the garden on the South Lawn of the White House. The book will also help promote one of Mrs. Obama’s signature initiatives: promoting healthy eating.
“[W]e wanted to share the story with the rest of the nation and perhaps with the rest of the world, because we get so many questions about the garden,” Obama told the AP. “How did we do it? Why did we do it? How do I do this in my own home or community?”
Mrs. Obama spearheaded the planting of vegetables at the White House in March 2009. It was the first time a garden had been planted at the residence since Eleanor Roosevelt’s “Victory Garden” during World War II. Mrs. Obama’s garden was replanted for the third time this week. This year’s crop includes spinach, peas, lettuce and broccoli, with a few fruits like blueberries and raspberries, thrown into the mix.
The book will feature photos of the garden in different seasons and highlight other community gardens throughout the nation.
Mrs. Obama did not accept an advance for the book and all proceeds will be donated to charity. Crown also published President Obama’s two memoirs, “Dreams of My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.”
While it’s the memoirs they write once they leave the White House that get the most attention, it’s become common for first ladies to write books while still living in the executive mansion.
For instance, “Millie’s Book,” by Barbara Bush, gave a behind-the-scenes look at the first Bush White House as told by the family springer spaniel. It spent 23 weeks on Publisher Weekly’s hardback bestseller list and proceeds went to a literacy fund. And, in 1996, Hillary Clinton wrote the bestselling book “It Takes A Village,” about the importance the community plays in raising children.