USDA Plants A ‘People’s Garden’ In DC

OK, this has got to have the folks at Monsanto twitching. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that for decades has put big ag ahead of good ag, broke ground yesterday on a 6-acre organic garden on the National Mall in the heart of Washington, D.C.

According to The New York Times, the garden will include a “1,300-square-foot vegetable plot, pollinator gardens, mini-wetlands, green roofs and demonstrations of planting techniques that can reduce stormwater runoff.” The USDA’s newest deputy secretary, organic farming friend Kathleen Merrigan, kicked off the gardening by helping the children of department personnel to plant a traditional Sioux “three sisters” garden–corn, squash and beans.

I can’t find a video on YouTube of Snoopy doing his little dance of joy, but you can insert that as a mental image here.

Merrigan Defends Organic Work In Senate Hearing

Reuters says that Kathleen Merrigan, who is the Obama administration’s nominee for deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture had to parry questions about her work on organic food in Senate confirmation hearings yesterday. Despite the grilling, the Senate Agriculture Committee is sending Merrigan’s nomination on to the full Senate for a vote today.

Score One For Food Democracy

From “Grist” comes news that President Obama has chosen Kathleen Merrigan, director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment program at Tufts University, to be a deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Merrigan was one of the names on Food Democracy Now’s “sustainable dozen” list that I told you about the other day.