Obama’s REAL dilema – veggie garden at the White House?

Tue, Apr 21, 2009

American Climate Change

As if saving the world was not enough for President Obama, it appears that even in his own home the pressure is on to take major decisions – about what to grow in his garden.

This interesting article by Adrian Higgins from the Washington Post  explains the dilema Mr Obama is currently facing.

So, you have moved into your house in the District and already strangers from afar are telling you what to do with the yard. That might rankle you somewhat, except the property is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, the new occupants are Mr Barack Obama and his family, and his domestic decisions are suddenly everyone’s business.

The home vegetable garden, a thing of much toil and simple pleasure, has taken on enormous political and environmental symbolism. Voices in the local-food movement have formed a chorus urging the Obamas to dig up a good chunk of the South Lawn for a garden to feed the first family and local food banks.

If Americans planted wartime victory gardens again, the argument goes, we would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and unsustainable agricultural practices, feed our families with cheaper, more nutritious food and reduce obesity and disease.

“If we were to have a first family to take this on and lead by example, we would see a ripple effect across the country and across the world,” said Roger Doiron, an organic gardener and food activist in Scarborough, Maine, who last year started a campaign to pressure the next president to grow veggies at the White House. He calls his petition drive Eat the View (http://www.eattheview.org).

It will be interesting to see whether the Obamas respond to the calls. Eleanor Roosevelt doggedly installed a victory garden in 1943, and Woodrow Wilson turned the South Lawn over to grazing sheep during World War I, but most of the landscape changes made by first families — and there have been many over the years — were for their own needs, not to play to the gallery.

Sheep, veg or maybe something else in the White House Garden?

American visitors please send me any news/views on what you think about this?

And, watch this video for inspiration :The Garden of Eatin’: A Short History of America’s Garden  http://www.vimeo.com/1767242

During World War I, Wilson brought in sheep to reduce the manpower needed to mow.

Read the full article at:


This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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