ABC news’ Brian Hartman has reported what many have been wishfully waiting to hear for months: the Obamas will soon plant an organic vegetable garden on the White House South grounds.
Following a 60 Minutes interview with Chez Panisse chef, renowned slow foodist and activist for improved national eating habits in the US, Alice Waters, on Sunday March 15th, wherein she called with continued clarion for an organic garden at the White House, First lady Michelle Obama talked of her plans for the garden in an interview for Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine that will feature in its April issue.
Mrs. Obama spoke, also, about the importance of healthy eating in that article, and what she hopes the garden will do to send that message to the nation:
We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet. You know, the tomato that’s from your garden tastes very different from one that isn’t. And peas – what is it like to eat peas in seasons? So we want the White House to be a place of education and awareness. And hopefully kids will be interested because there are kids living here.
The expected garden represents a victory for sustainable food and agriculture activists, such as the White House Organic Farm Project (WHO Farm), which have campaigned publicly for this outcome for months. WHO Farm traveled across the country in a biofuel-powered school bus last fall to raise awareness of the cause and focus attention on their request to the White House. Looks like grass roots – or plant roots, in this case – activism still works.
The White House grounds have been decidedly less rustic since 1945, after Franklin D Roosevelt left office and the first lady’s “victory garden” was replaced with inedible plants. However, during Woodrow Wilson‘s term in office, during World War I, the South lawn looked like a scene from farms in the president’s home state of Virginia, with sheep brought in to freely graze as a gesture of support for the troops overseas. No animal husbandry activists have yet matched the garden campaign efforts by pushing the Obamas to bring back farm animals to the White House.
Editor’s note: Our own Robin Shreeves has more thoughts on the plans for a White House garden at MNN.com
Photo Credit: susty.com