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Food Not (the South) Lawns: Edible Gardens at the White House

The International Herald Tribune posted an article last week by Ellen Goodman about one man’s campaign to convince the next President of the United States to plant a kitchen garden on the White House lawn. Forty-seven-year-old Maine localvore, Roger Doiron is the head of Kitchen Gardeners International—a nonprofit network of organic kitchen gardeners and home cooks from over 80 countries. He’s leading the charge for a food garden to be planted in the next President’s White House lawn. Were he successful in this endeavor, it would be a huge boost to the Food Not Lawns movement and drive home the precarious situation facing our nation’s food supply (food miles, pesticides, floods, etc.).

From the article:

The appeal of kitchen gardens – food you grow for the table – has been increasing pretty steadily. Taste bud by taste bud. But this year, a harmonic or maybe disharmonic convergence of factors led to a giant leap in the number of grow-it-yourselfers.

For one thing, there’s the rising cost of food – 45 percent worldwide in two years. There’s also the rising consciousness about the carbon footprint on your dinner plate. There is, as well, recognition of an international food shortage and moral queasiness about biofuels, growing corn to feed cars while people are going hungry.

Meanwhile, we’ve had more uncertainty about food safety, whether it was spinach in 2006 or this year’s tomatoes. And the floods that ruined millions of acres in the Midwest have undermined our easy sense of plenty.

[…]

[Roger] wants the candidates to pledge they’ll turn a piece of the 18-acre White House terrain into an edible garden. Or rather, return it into an edible garden.

After all, John Adams, the first president to live in the White House, had a garden to feed his family. Woodrow Wilson had a Liberty Garden and sheep grazing during the First World War. And, of course, the Roosevelts famously had their Victory Garden during World War II, a time when 40 percent of the nation’s produce came from citizen gardeners.

It’s too late for a Bush harvest, but the campaign to get the next president to model a bit of homeland food security has sprouted on Doiron’s website called EatTheView.org.


The Etymology of Stock and Broth

Question: When you make soup, do you start with stock or broth? Answer: It depends. Rachael Mamane answers that question and others in Mastering Stocks and Broths, the definitive and most comprehensive guide on stocks, broths, and how to prepare and use them. As a special treat to celebrate the book launch, we’ve got an excerpt […] Read More

How well do you know your charcuterie?

Prosciutto. Andouille. Country ham. The extraordinary rise in popularity of cured meats in recent years often overlooks the fact that the ancient practice of meat preservation through the use of salt, time, and smoke began as a survival technique. All over the world, various cultures developed ways to extend the viability of the hunt—and later […] Read More

4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More

Is My Broth (or Stock) Bad?

Are you planning to start the GAPS diet or any other diet aimed at boosting gut health this year? If so, chances are that stocks and broths are critical components. Even if you’re not changing the way you eat, but you often have pots of aromatic goodness bubbling on your stove, you may have wondered, […] Read More

A Simple Way to Grow Fresh Greens Indoors This Winter

Just because the temperatures have started to drop doesn’t mean you have to live without fresh greens until Spring. Author and gardener Peter Burke’s innovative method of growing soil sprouts indoors can help you grow nutrient-dense greens all year long at a fraction of the cost of buying at market. Burke’s book, Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening, is […] Read More