Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gardening Returns to the White House: That's a Good Thing

I was so happy to learn that President and Mrs. Obama are planning a rather large vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House. It's been decades since a vegetable garden has been part of the White House property.

First Lady, Michelle Obama got down and dirty with the help of 30 or so elementary school children, breaking ground on the new garden. In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables for the White House, the garden has an education component for the children who will be back to plant it, harvest it, and cook the harvest in the White House kitchen.

I'd love to see this garden project inspire others around the country to create their own growing spaces. Whether spaces are limited to a balcony of an apartment or as large as several acres of farm land, gardening is an excellent (and healthy!) way to reduce the family food budget while providing a great education for adults and children alike.

I recall several years ago, I grew so many tomato plants that I had to learn how to can tomatoes. I couldn't let them go to waste! Our neighbors also reaped the benefit of my numerous plantings. I think they had all the tomatoes they needed!

Now, vegetable gardening is kept to what we will use in a season. I have to tell you, there's nothing like going outdoors and picking your own salad, fresh herbs, and vegetables for dinner. The taste is unbelievable!

While people may not always agree with the policies of this administration, I think the Obama's deserve kudos for bringing gardens back to the White House.


mike said...

Think of all those farmers and produce stores that will have to close down, start laying off workers. It's a shame that the Obamas will no longer be purchasing their vegetables. Where is this country headed???!!!


Elaine said...

I bet Alice Waters is jumping for joy! She has been advocating a garden at the White House for years. Bravo to President and First Lady for making it happen!!!

Marthaandme said...

I think this is wonderful, but I would be even happier if they announced they were going to be gardening organically.

Carillon said...

Hi, Kenn,
Your thoughts brought back memories of the 12 years my husband and I and kids lived in rural MN, in same little village as my parents...we had a large lot, with a huge garden in the back when we bought the 1920's house. I knew I couldn't handle the gardening, but my father was more than eager to jump right in, and he tended a wonderful garden until we moved away...we all enjoyed the fresh vegetables! But also, you would be amazed at how easy it was to get all kinds of fresh produce from local farmers: sweet corn, pickling cucumbers and tomatoes by the bushel, anything you wanted! I learned to pickle and can and freeze! Good times!
Carillon in Phoenix