What you Need To Know

Opinions expressed in my articles are my own, and opinions in the articles and comments section written by others are strictly those of the author or commenter and not me.

Please be civil, it adds nothing to the conversation to engage in name-calling.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why All the Criticism of The White House Garden?

Michelle Obama and a group of school children broke ground on the new White House vegetable garden yesterday. And the fun begins.

It's just a token, the White House Staff will wind up taking care of it. Okay - so what? It's not like the people who live in the White House have nothing better to do. The fact that even if this were true, the people who live in the White House and their guests will be EATING THIS FOOD is more to the point. Also, that you can have a garden anywhere, in your front lawn if you have one.

Why isn't Michelle Obama talking about sustainability, etc etc etc? One of the things you learn early on if you are dealing with the public is you have to relate to them where they are. People who live in inner cities and poor rural communities already think 'organic' is elitist. By its very nature, an organic garden IS sustainable. Michelle Obama is appealing to the mothers and fathers out there who want their kids to be healthy. That's why she talks about fresh and healthy. And if you can find it and afford it - organic. People in this country need to be engaged in a dialogue about our food, and Michelle Obama is off to a great start.

Oh, the lawns there are all full of pesticides and herbicides so this whole exercise is useless. Well maybe they were. The fact that Michelle Obama has declared that this will be an organic garden means that the groundskeepers have undoubtedly been instructed not to continue to spray toxic chemicals on the lawns. I would think this has been in place since the swingset was installed - after all, who wants their kids playing in that stuff? All in all - this is a win-win for the environment on so many levels. They will have this working mini-farm, they will show people you can still have lawns without polluting so much. The garden is an educational tool - and getting kids involved first is often the best way to reach parents. When their kids want stuff, or make points about issues, parents tend to change behavior more than if you talk directly to them.

Most people don't have acres of lawn to dig up for a garden like this so I don't see how anyone else will be able to do this. One of the reasons the Obama garden is so large (1,100 square feet) is because it will be feeding the Obama family, guests at State dinners, and the school children and their families who are helping do some of the work. And there may be leftovers which I suspect will wind up at local soup kitchens. You don't need acres. I personally grew a garden in a space 10 feet by 11 feet. I canned and froze enough veggies to see us through the winter, plus we ate out of the garden all year. That is a tiny space. You can grow a tomato plant, a pepper plant and a cucumber vine in a large pot on your patio or porch. You can grow lettuces and herbs in a window box. In this era of belt-tightening, there are lots of options for growing fresh food no matter where you live. Have you seen those 'topsy-turvy' upside-down tomato plant things? Ha!

I am eagerly looking forward to seeing pictures of the First Family pulling weeds, and hearing about the meals that are being prepared by the White House chefs for formal affairs as well as the school kids harvesting and cooking what they have helped grow.

Hooray! This is a story we should all be celebrating instead of criticizing. How about it?

1 comment:

Mr. Natural said...

"Why All the Criticism of The White House Garden?"

Some people would complain if you hung 'em with a new rope.