White House Vegetable Garden Coming This Summer
Roger Doiron lives on less than half an acre in Scarborough, a suburb of Portland, Maine, that's known less for its farms than...
Roger Doiron lives on less than half an acre in Scarborough, a suburb of Portland, Maine, that's known less for its farms than its big-box stores. Last year, his front-yard kitchen garden was not just a source of inspiration and an estimated $2,400 in vegetables for his family; it was also a symbol of self-sufficiency and a greener suburbia. Doiron has also been petitioning the new president to put a Victory Garden on the White House. "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," he told the Washington Post.Now, the Obama Administration appears to be heeding calls from Doiron and other gardening activists. This summer, they're planning to plant a vegetable garden on the White House's South Lawn , one adviser told CBS's Political Hotsheet.The effort has also led to questions about the broader implications of a Presidential kitchen garden. Warren Belasco, a food historian and author of Appetite for Change, said the action would be more of a symbolic boost
for affluent activists rather than the people in need of healthy and inexpensive food, who were unlikely to have the time or space to benefit from the model garden on the White House lawn."Considering how far the community and organic gardening movement has come in the forty years since People's Park put it on the map, do we still need symbolic stunts? I don't think so," he wrote. "Dig your own potatoes, people!"Belasco and others have pointed to the efforts to reshape the USDA, such as its "People's Garden," a community garden project on the National Mall, especially given the agency's resistance to such projects in the past. Now, if only Obama were to do something really radical in Washington D.C., it would be to reinstate the Center Market, the public market demolished to make way for the National Archives building, or to resume cattle grazing on the Ellipse.