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7 reasons to be happy that Michelle Obama is preserving the White House garden.

"This little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes that we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children."

7 reasons to be happy that Michelle Obama is preserving the White House garden.

As one of her last acts as first lady, Michelle Obama unveiled significant renovations to the White House Kitchen Garden.

Renovations that will make it much harder for any future president to uproot it. Not that any future president would want to, but, in these — uh — tumultuous times, it can't hurt to be safe.

Do not mess with this woman's plants. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty.


The garden has more than doubled in size, from its initial 1,100 square feet in 2009 to 2,800 square feet, and now, it's accented by cement, stone, and steel reinforcements. The first lady also tasked the National Park Service with maintaining it and secured its upkeep with $2.5 million of private funding (aka not taxpayer dollars).

Needless to say her beloved garden isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Like most everything else the first lady does, the garden is meant to serve a lasting purpose.

It's more than a passion project, it's about teaching kids where our food comes from, introducing them to fresh vegetables, and giving them a healthy appreciation for the work that goes into bringing it to the table.

“I take great pride in knowing that this little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes and dreams we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children,” Obama said at the garden's unveiling. But that's just one reason why preserving this garden matters so much to the first lady (and should matter to all of us too).

Here are seven more reasons to care about preserving the White House Kitchen Garden:

1. It's the first vegetable garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden in WWII.

Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

Victory gardens first came into existence in America during WWI in order to help contribute food to the war effort and America's allies. Eleanor Roosevelt planted one on the White House front lawn to boost morale during WWII and to encourage families nationwide to plant their own so as to safeguard against food shortages on the home front.

While Roosevelt's wasn't built to last like Michelle Obama's, the mission was similar — to encourage sustainability.

2. The food harvested from the garden is utilized by the White House kitchen, reducing the first family's need to rely on imported food.

The Let's Move! kids. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The garden, which was part of Michelle’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, also helped the first family break its fast food habit. In fact, Michelle Obama credits her experience as a working mom trying to feed her two daughters as being what prompted the idea for the garden in the first place.

3. What better way to teach a new generation to appreciate fruits and vegetables than by getting them involved in growing them?

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Students have played a pivotal role in the garden's upkeep since they broke ground on it back in 2009. Not only do students help harvest the 2,000pounds of yearly crops every year, they're invited to visit and help out anytime.

4. Anything from the garden's harvest that doesn't get used by the White House goes to local food banks and shelters.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Considering the harvest yield, the donations end up being quite sizable. Miriam's Kitchen, the homeless meals program in Washington, D.C., is primarily responsible for distributing the harvest and serves over 87,000 meals to those in need each year.

5. The garden is also home to the first ever White House beehive.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Honeybees are responsible for making a substantial portion of our harvests grow. While they're not yet endangered, American has lost a reported 25% of its honeybee population since 1990, and the number of hives is the lowest it's been in 50 years. Their presence in the White House Kitchen Garden shows the Obamas understand how vital they are to our food supply.

On a lighter note though, the honey from the bees also helps make a tasty local honey ale and honey porter.

6. And the garden as a whole promotes the environmentally conscious, locally grown, farm-to-table movement.

Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

While big agriculture believes the farm-to-table movement is impractical for the nation as a whole, the first lady stands firmly behind it. Industrial agriculture uses up an exorbitant amount of energy. If there were public gardens in every small town producing food for the local community, it's likely energy consumption would diminish significantly.

7. Finally, the project is building a sense of community across the nation.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

As evident in the photos above, gardening is most fun when it's a group effort. Over the last seven years, the idea that gardening could be a great community-building tool has started to catch on, and as a result, communal gardens have popped up everywhere.

"They’re even doing some community gardening in space, as we understand, which takes the concept to a whole other level," said Obama at the annual garden planting.

A lot could change at the White House after this election concludes, but one thing Michelle Obama's made damn sure of — regardless of its literal existence, her gardening legacy will live on in the movements she's inspired and all the lives she's changed.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

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