White House organic vegetable garden breaks ground

An email from Slow Food USA
Friends, Farmers, Citizens,

This morning, on the first day of spring, Michelle Obama and 26 fifth graders broke ground for an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn.

Many of you were part of the extraordinary and diverse network of people and organizations that worked to make this happen.  Thank you.

I’m writing you from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.  I’m here meeting with Michael Pollan, Dan Imhoff, CDC staff and an extraordinary group of leaders in this region.  Together we are talking about how to make a healthy food and agriculture system, and how to re-imagine what our national school lunch policy could and should look like.

Today’s ground-breaking has fueled the conversation, the commitment and the hope I’m experiencing here at the CDC.  People are feeling optimistic.

I wrote you recently about a visit to The White House.  I told you about the optimism and hope I felt as I left that meeting.  I didn’t tell you that while there, I looked at the lawn, and I squinted my eyes to try to imagine it, and I thought, “Someday there will be a vegetable garden here.  That said they’ve got a lot on their plate, so I’m not going to hold my breath.”  I guess sometimes what’s right trumps what’s reasonable.

Today they removed sod.  It’s what you’ve got to do if you want to replace a lawn with a vegetable garden.  It is also hard work.  I’ve done a lot of it.  Once you’re done though, things look different, and the work starts to happen quickly.

The model schoolyard garden on the National Mall,
part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2005.

It is spring starting today.  We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I’m glad knowing that the sod is removed.  I think we are going to have a good growing season together.

Yours truly,

Josh Viertel
President, Slow Food USA

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Categories: check this out!, nutrition, school garden


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