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.

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Will The White House Sit At The Local Food Table?

This morning’s e-mail contained a holiday greeting from Will Raap, the founder of an organic farming incubator in Burlington, Vt., called The Intervale Center. Will is probably better known to you as the founder of Gardener’s Supply, the home gardening catalog. In his message, Will encourages readers in 2009 to plant a home vegetable garden, join a community farm CSA (yeah!) and convince President-elect Barack Obama to plant an organic Victory Garden on the front lawn of the White House. How? By supporting “Eat The View“, an online campaign created by Roger Doiron, the founder and director of Kitchen Gardeners International, a Maine-based local food advocacy group. The new president will have, pardon the pun, a full plate of food issues, but it’s not as outlandish a request as you might think: Eleanor Roosevelt had a Victory Garden at the White House during WW II.