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Growing Up Gourmet: If You Build It...

Monday, January 12, 2009

If You Build It...

If the youth vote for President-elect Obama, and the enthusiasm his powerful election generated among young people, is any indication of how kids will be motivated and influenced by the 44th president, I feel good about the future.

If President-elect Obama accepts the call to lead by example (see video below), plants the nation's most important organic vegetable garden on the White House Lawn, and the children of America clamor to till the soil, water seedlings, and pick tomatoes from their own school and backyard gardens, I feel REALLY good about the future. (And the future of our citizens' health and the country's food supply.)

Back in October, in response to Michael Pollan's now famous article, Farmer In Chief, I wrote about the brilliant idea to turn the White House Front Lawn into a sustainable fruit and vegetable garden, and give school children on their annual field trip to the Capitol the chance to till the Presidential soil.

It looks like this idea really has, (sorry) germinated.

As described on -- the website soliciting the top ten ideas for change to submit to the president:

Thousands of Americans and people from the around the world are asking the Obamas to lead by example on climate change, health policy, economic self-reliance, food security, and energy independence by replanting an organic food garden at the White House with the produce going to the First Kitchen and to local food pantries.
The many successes(1) of the first Victory Garden movement were the result of effective public policy, bold leadership(2) at a time of national crisis, and the commitment of millions of citizens who were ready to roll up their sleeves for the greater good. There' s no better, more symbolic place for launching a new National Victory Garden Program than at the White House, "America’s House". There's no better, more urgent time(3) than now. And there's NOTHING that can beat the fresh taste of locally-grown, home-cooked foods.
(1) Victory Gardens (behind homes, schools, in vacant urban lots, etc.) produced 40% of the nation’s produce at their peak, helped conserve food and natural resources at a time of crisis, resulted in the highest consumption rates of fruits and vegetables our nation has seen, and helped keep millions of Americans physically fit and active.
(2) First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted a Victory Garden on the White House lawn in 1943 over the objections of the USDA, inspiring millions by her example.
(3) The UN estimates that 1 billion people will go hungry in 2009 while climate scientists predict this year will be one the five warmest years on record.

So please cast your vote for Victory Garden 2.0 today here:
Learn more about the movement here:
And certainly don't miss the video which might turn you, and Mr. Obama, into a green thumb.

This Lawn is Your Lawn from roger doiron on Vimeo.

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At January 17, 2009 at 12:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like what my Mom used to say, all great things start out small. What a great post! I'd like to invite you to take some time to drop by at Foodista. We have launched an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia where you can contribute and share what you know about food and cooking techniques.


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