I grew up with a large vegetable garden (which was all organic) in our yard in West Newbury, Massachusetts. Every year my father would till the soil and we would all go out and help with the planting, weeding and then when the time came, the picking. The memories of the taste of the just picked vegetables is still ingrained in my mind and now that I have moved back to rural New England, I am anxiously awaiting the last frost so that I can plant my own little vegetable garden here in Eastport, Maine.
Needless to say, I think it’s awesome that the Obama’s are planting a White House kitchen garden, in effort to promote healthy eating.
Today at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack helped a group of school children, from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, plant seedlings in the White House Kitchen Garden.
“Every single person from Prince Charles on down was excited because we are planting a garden,” she said. “In many countries, they believe in the importance of planting a garden and raising your own food.”
AG Secretary Tom Vilsack “gave Mrs. Obama credit for a significant increase in seed sales.”
Both emphasized how inexpensive it can be to have a garden — the White House has said its garden cost $200.
When one child guessed that it would cost “over $100,000,” Mrs. Obama replied, “My husband would go crazy if he thought we were spending that kind of money.”
Sadly, the chemical industry is up in arms over the Obama’s organic garden. The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA), who represent big agribusinesses like “Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and DuPont Crop Protection,” are “less thrilled about the fact that no chemicals will be used to grow the crops.”
The MACA wanted stressed to the Obama’s:
“As you go about planning and planting the White House garden, we respectfully encourage you to recognize the role conventional agriculture plays in the U.S. in feeding the ever-increasing population, contributing to the U.S. economy and providing a safe and economical food supply.”
Contrary to what the MACA would like to stress about the use of chemicals in gardens, the White House Kitchen Garden is however the perfect example of how people can can grow safe and economical food, organically.
It’s time to stop putting chemicals in our food supply and getting back to basics. If more families grew some of their own fruits and vegetables, they would not only save money but they would also improve the quality of their lives. Good for the Obama’s for setting this example.
[Cross posted at PamelaLeavey.com]