Michelle Obama is tearing up part of the South Lawn and planting an organic food garden for her family. How cool is that?
Michelle Obama has never grown a vegetable garden. The White House hasn’t had a garden on the South Lawn since Elanor Roosevelt planted a Victory Garden during World War II.
So How Did This Happen?
The Obamas have been lobbied to create a garden since before they entered the White House – even before Obama was elected!
Roger Doiron and Kitchen Gardeners International led that cause with their Eat The View Campaign. Roger created a YouTube video that became viral, a Facebook campaign continued the charge, the cause was joined by Alice Waters and other famous chefs, and people like you and I joined the cause by signing the petition, forwarding the idea to our friends, and so on.
The Obamas’ pediatrician had a hand as well. You see, the chaotic life of politics led the Obamas to eat out a lot, to have fast food and packaged meals regularly. Then Malia and Sasha gained weight! So the pediatrician gave Michelle a lecture in nutrition, and the family began to change their eating habits.
The family’s Chicago chef, Sam Kass – who came with them to the White House as assistant White House chef – is an advocate of the local food movement. He’ll be overseeing the garden himself.
The White House Executive Chef, Cristeta Comerford, and the Pastry Chef Bill Yosses will both be arranging their menus around the garden.
One of the White House carpenters, Charlie Brandts, is a beekeeper and has offered to keep two hives to provide fresh honey.
And you and I – who have come together to create a movement of local, seasonal, fresh, organic, home-grown food – we have had a large hand in making this happen. We have helped make it popular, we have helped make it important, we have helped redefine normal. Together.
From here, the White House garden will inspire many, many others to grow their own food, to pay attention to nutrition, to support local food systems. And we will all continue to do our parts as well. Together, we are changing the world.
When I wrote about my own struggle to “save the world,” many of you replied that it is the little things that all add up together to create world change. Indeed, this is a perfect example.