I’d like to say that Michelle Obama is one smart lady. She’s doing something that many of us garden-loving idealists have been wanting for a long time: planting a White House veggie garden. Not since Eleanor Roosevelt’s WWII Victory Garden has there been such extensive planting at the White House.
Visible from E Street, an 1,100 square foot piece of south-facing lawn is being filled with raised beds and will be planted with 55 varieties of vegetables, berries and herbs, with surplus to be donated to a nearby soup kitchen. Michelle Obama said that feeding her own children was what inspired her to start a garden, as they have been more curious about trying new fruits and veggies if they’ve seen where they’ve been grown or met the actual farmers.
Of course the fresh, local produce will be greatly enjoyed by the First Family and the White House staff, but this garden will have eco-educational value as well; the highly visible White House garden’s soil will be amended with kitchen compost, crab meal and other natural fertilizers, and will use beneficial insects for pest control. Obviously our First Lady doesn’t want her kids eating petroleum-based fertilizers or chemical pesticides any more than you do!
This action shows the Obamas literally putting their walk where their talk is, and, dare I say it, it’s (eco) change we can believe in.