Obama organics and a white house

michelle-obama-organic

CNN article

First lady Michelle Obama helped break ground on a new White House organic “kitchen garden” Friday. It will be the first working garden at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a so-called “victory garden” at the height of World War II.

The idea of a presidential kitchen garden, used year-round with different seasonal crops, has been strongly promoted by advocates for organic and locally grown food. They argue that the White House garden may help set a positive example for families short on time and money, who are often tempted by cheaper, highly processed food. It will also include a range of herbs, including sage, oregano and rosemary.

The first lady told a group of Washington schoolchildren on hand for the occasion that first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama were usually more willing to try fresh fruits and vegetables because fresh produce generally tastes better.

The garden is one of several additions to the White House South Lawn. A swing set for the first daughters was recently installed near the Oval Office. The presidential garden will be used, among other things, for growing such staples as butterhead and red leaf lettuce, spinach, broccoli, onions, carrots and peas.

 

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3 Responses to Obama organics and a white house

  1. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    While I’m all in favor of fresh food – I expanded my vegetable garden by a considerable amount this year because store bought stuff is going to be right expensive due to the drought in California – the White House garden is a joke. The cost of the Secret Service protection of our Queen while she putters about will alone will make it the most expensive food in the world. Best I’m thinking that the Obamas donate that money to the local homeless shelter, which is just a couple of blocks from the White House, or at least give them any extra produce. Not that that last bit would be easy. Three or four years ago I made the mistake of planting far too much squash. We are talking bags and bags more harvest for week after week than we could eat at home or give away to people we know. Our local climate and soil are, by the way, pretty much perfect for growing summer squash. Anyway, once the stuff started piling up on me, and being a frugal sort, I started calling around to find a charity to donate the massive excess to. No joy. No one could accept it because it wasn’t Government inspected, which would open them up to massive lawsuits if any of the hungry people they were struggling to feed happened to get sick. Oh, and the Government has strict limits on what amounts of produce they will inspect, with a lower limit on tons, not the 20 pounds a day my garden produced. Crap.

    the Grit

  2. matt says:

    Regards your excess squash, do you guys run box schemes in your neighbourhood? Could have gone through that, especially if organic.

  3. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    I have no idea what box schemes are, but I’m guessing they are shared garden plots? We have those in some urban areas, but where I live houses have to be located on a minimum of 4 acres, so anyone who wants to plant has plenty of space. The restriction, by the way, is because we don’t have a central sewage system, and it’s not sanitary to operate septic fields on less land.

    As to organic, well sort of. I tilled in bulk chemical fertilizer before planting, but I never use anything but natural products on the growing plants, and I usually don’t use much of those. Mainly, I leave a band of native weeds around my garden to encourage native insect predators, and dump our kitchen waste – except meat – between the rows so I’ll tramp in into the soil while weeding and such. And, I would point out, that you have to do some serious weeding around here as we have some devilish invasive plants! We have one grass species that propagates by runners, which can reach out more than five feet and can cut through black landscape plastic sheets like a hot knife through butter. We also have another plant called hairy vetch, which invests all it’s energy in spring growth, so during the first couple of months of the growing season it shoots up two or three feet, then falls to the side and shoots out grasping tendrils to attach itself to anything in the area to smother any competing vegetation. While these plants are great out in my hay fields, they make gardening a bit difficult 🙂

    Also I would inquire as to what garden produce y’all grow?

    the Grit

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