Fire Up the Rototiller!

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

The White House South Lawn / Photo credit: airportmatt/flickr

Score a great big win for Roger Doiron and the Eat the View Project of Kitchen Gardeners International. We wrote last autumn, before the election was decided, about Doiron’s drive to get a portion of the White House lawn turned into a vegetable garden.

Well, it’s going to happen. In the current issue of Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine, Michelle Obama reveals that she’s working on “a wonderful new garden project.” She adds

We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet. You know, the tomato that’s from your garden tastes very different from one that isn’t. And peas – what is it like to eat peas in season? So we want the White House to be a place of education and awareness.

Adding to the clamor for fresh, organic food grown on the nation’s First Lawn – and sharing in the credit for success, is Daniel Bowman Simon of The Who Farm, who built a roof garden on a converted school bus and drove around the country seeking signatures on a petition to achieve what the First Lady has just announced.

The garden will be on the White House’s south lawn, out of view of those who do the nation’s business. How this will work out, given the fact that the presidential helicopter lands there, is beyond me. But I guess if you have a 16-acre lawn, anything is possible.

Word is that the National Park Service, which oversees the White House grounds, will not be responsible for the garden. Instead, the residence staff will have that assignment, an indication that Mrs. Obama will likely be involved.

Read more about it here, here, here, and here.

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5 Responses to “Fire Up the Rototiller!”

  1. This sounds delightful!  And I bet the WH chefs will like it too.  Proud as peacocks is the best description of my family’s preening around the dinner table when we serve home grown veggies and fruits at the table for guests.  Oh, think about which heads of state can become localvores … the ramifications are broad.  Or maybe even abroad, if this becomes de riguer for leaders of nations the world over to think about eating the view internationally.  A great example.  Makes my gardener’s heart smile.

  2. I want to know what type of tree is best to train it to be teeny tiny, I would like it to be 12 inches or less. Even smaller would be great. Like a bonsai but that looks more like a miniature maple or oak. Is that even possible?

  3. Oh yeah!

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