Thursday, February 19, 2009

White House Victory Garden

Ruth at synch-ro-ni-zing inspired me to post this item she found at Slow Food Nation.
Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural history of Four Meals” and Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote an open letter to the President-Elect Obama last October. He outlined many of the food-related challenges Obama will face as president and proposed a strategy to tackle them. One suggestion that will not cost billions of dollars of taxpayer money is to use five of the eighteen acres of the White House lawn to plant an organic fruit and vegetable garden. Eating locally shortens the food chain which can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. 

This is not a new idea. In 1917, President Wilson ordered a “war garden” to be planted at the White House to grow vegetables for the Wilson’s meals.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted a “victory garden” at the White House In 1943 , spearheading a movement that inspired over 20 million home gardens that supplied 40 percent of the produce consumed in America.

San Francisco’s victory garden program
was one of the nation’s finest. The first victory garden was planted in 1943 at the Civic Center site. Every park in the city had gardens, Golden Gate Park could boast over 250 garden plots, and many vacant lots were used for growing vegetables.

To hear Terry Gross' Fresh Air interview with Michael Pollan click here.

The Obamas could inspire millions of Americans by their example.


Ruth said...

You got way more information than I did, awesome. I didn't know Terry Gross interviewed him! I'll listen at work.

Yay, so glad you passed on this fun and practical challenge!

paris parfait said...

What a great idea! But somehow I think the Obamas won't have time to garden - but if they had a staff to do it, why not?

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,
Sorry I'm late in responding. This message fell below the watermark level in my e-mail inbox. Thanks for inspiring me to do this post. I hope you enjoyed the Terry Gross interview.

Dear Paris,
Pollan actually suggested that Obama and his family go out and weed the garden as a symbolic gesture. An organic vegetable garden takes up a lot less water and fertilizer than a lawn does.

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