The Obamas will grow vegetables on the White House lawn

Populista passed along a link to great news from the New York Times:

On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets (the president doesn't like them) but arugula will make the cut.

While the organic garden will provide food for the first family's meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern.

In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, "My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities."

Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot plot in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It's just below the Obama girls' swing set.) Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will also help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs.

Almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, "whether they like it or not," Mrs. Obama said laughing. "Now Grandma, my mom, I don't know." Her mother, she said, would probably sit back and say: "Isn't that lovely. You missed a spot."

Urban gardens are becoming more popular, and I'm happy that the Obama will set a good example at the White House.

Thanks are due to Michael Pollan for putting this idea forward in an "Open Letter to the Next Farmer in Chief" in the New York Times Sunday Magazine last October. Obama read Pollan's piece and paraphrased points from it in an interview with Time magazine.

Tags: Barack Obama, local foods, Michelle Obama, sustainable agriculture, victory garden (all tags)




I may have to send the Obamas a recipe or two for beets.

This is an excellent project. I was happy to read about it earlier in the NYT.

by Charles Lemos 2009-03-19 06:58PM | 0 recs
I almost posted

my favorite beet recipes after the jump on this post, but ran out of time last night. Glazed beets from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking is a beet dish that even non-beet-lovers can enjoy.

by desmoinesdem 2009-03-20 05:21AM | 0 recs
We will NEED the money thanks to Obama's healthcar

We will need that money to pay Obama's benefactors in the health insurance industry!

(If current trends continue, and it appears they will, we will be spending the entire GNP of the USA on healthcare within just a few years.)

Yes we can! Grow your own food and save your silver plated dollars, you will need them!

Your money or your life.

by architek 2009-03-20 06:33AM | 0 recs

I hate beets too!

by riboflavin 2009-03-19 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Beets

But, beets are full of riboflavin!! ;-)

by LordMike 2009-03-19 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Beets

I hated beets for most my life, because the only experience I had with them were those foul canned monstrosities. A few years ago I tried a little Borscht that a friend ordered at a restaurant, and it wasn't that bad, but I still thought I hated beets.

Then one time, after watching a re-run of the Good Eats episode on beets, I eventually decided to give fresh beets a try. Three medium, peeled beets in a glass casserole dish, tossed with olive oil, salt, and fresh ground black pepper, covered with aluminum foil, and roasted in a 450-degree F oven for 50 minutes. They were great! Sweet, like roasted carrots, with a wonderful earthiness like an extremely mild radish.

Beets are now one of my favorite foods! So tasty, and so good for you, a great combination. Toss roasted beets with some toasted walnuts and crumbled gorgonzola.... yum.

Canned beets still make me nauseated, tho. Just the memory of that smell makes me ill.

by STLSignes 2009-03-20 04:33AM | 0 recs
canned beets are gross

and I don't care for pickled beets either. But there are so many good ways to cook and eat fresh beets.

by desmoinesdem 2009-03-20 05:23AM | 0 recs

You think Ed Fallon's gonna be Whitehouse farmer now? ;)

by Populista 2009-03-19 09:09PM | 0 recs
somehow I doubt it!

But the funny thing is, he'd be ideal for the job. There probably aren't many Democrats with more than a decade of experience in both elective office and urban gardening.

by desmoinesdem 2009-03-20 05:23AM | 0 recs
Wherein I leap of a cliff.

Do I have the guts to go there?

Yes I do.

I wonder if he will be growing melons as part of his urban garden.

by MNPundit 2009-03-19 10:57PM | 0 recs
Re: The Obamas will grow vegetables

I hear the price of arugula is outrageous.  Seriously, Kudos to the Obamas.

by lojasmo 2009-03-20 02:10AM | 0 recs


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