Thursday, March 19, 2009

Local Food Movement comes to the White House: Obama Plants a Garden!

For months, numerous groups and individuals have been petitioning the new administration to be the symbol for all American's the follow -- to lead by example and plant an organic food garden at the White House. Well the dream is becoming an reality.  Tomorrow (March 20th, the first day of Spring), Michelle Obama will break ground on a new garden on the South Lawn of White House.

As reported by The Washington Times, the 1,100 square foot garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables, berries, herbs and two bee hives for honey that will be tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The list of produce was chosen by White House chefs and the harvested food will be used to feed the first family daily, for state dinners and other official events.

Better yet, the garden will be organic using only organic seedlings, soil and fertilizers.  The total estimated cost for all the materials...$200.  

As reported by the New York Times, the plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost, crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay, lime and green sand. Ladybugs and praying mantises will help control harmful bugs. 

Don't we all wish we had this garden?

Alice Waters has been lobbying the White House for a garden since 1992. "It just tells you that this country cares about people's good health and about the care of the land," she said. "To have this sort of 'victory' garden, this message goes out that everyone can grow a garden and have free food."

“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” said Michelle Obama. “And my children know the difference, and that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things." 

I hope all American's will take this lead, plant and garden and find out what a real tomato taste like. 


Leighann said...

Very commendable!

I can tell you that we constructed raised beds last year and spent at least $200 on the construction. SO the figure they state definitely does not include the actual raised beds, top soil, and compost.

But still...once it's set up, it's relatively cheap to grow veggies from year to year.

Scott Jones said...

What a great step forward by the administration! But there are still so many common misconceptions surrounding conservation. Check out our myth-busting video “What’s Your Big Green Lie?!” which gives a taste of the widespread ignorance of green issues at

Anonymous said...

Hello from the Office of Portland Mayor Sam Adams!

On Earth Day, Portland City Council unanimously passed a resolution to establish a Better Together Garden at City Hall and donate its fruit and vegetables to Loaves and Fishes Elm Court, just five blocks away from City Hall. The year-round garden will contain more than 700 square feet of vegetables and fruit.

The grand opening of the Better Together Garden at City Hall is May 5th at 9 a.m. Mayor Adams will show off the garden and encourage Portlanders to plant their own gardens and grow an extra row for the hungry. He will also thank the many volunteers and donors that made this effort possible.

We hope the symbolic Better Together Garden will serve as an example, touch lives and encourage community gardening across the country.

Please contact me with any questions.


Alacia Lauer
Staff Associate
Office of Mayor Sam Adams
City of Portland
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 340
Portland, OR 97204
P: 503-823-4120