For Release March 29, 2009
First, Tom Vilsack, our new Secretary of Agriculture from the big farm food factory of Iowa, had pavement torn up outside departmental offices to create a “people’s garden.” His announced goal: community gardens to promote “green” concepts at all USDA facilities worldwide.
Next, Michelle Obama, accompanied by a band of local fifth-graders and White House staff, broke ground on the White House lawn for an 1,100-square foot kitchen garden. It’s to grow no less than 55 varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs–lettuces to berries, cilantro and hot peppers. The plot, in clear view to passerbys, is being fertilized with White House compost and Chesapeake Bay crab meal. Mrs. Obama promises her entire family, the president included, will help out pulling weeds–and of course enjoying the fresh goods from their efforts.
There’s strong precedent: the fabulously successful nationwide Victory Garden campaign Eleanor Roosevelt kicked off from the White House in 1943. By the end of World War II, some 20 million American home gardeners were supplying 40 percent of the nation’s fresh produce. Read More