Green Thumbs Up by ProQuest


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									                                                                  Green Thumbs Up
Interest in community gardens sprouting all across America
Editor’s note: compiled from Internet and other sources by Anne   using Embassy window boxes, tree planting and field office
Todd.                                                             plots designed to promote “going green” by retaining water
                                                                  and reducing runoff; using roof gardens for energy efficiency;
                 irst Lady Michelle Obama and about two           and using native plants and sound conservation practices.
                 dozen local students from Bancroft                   On April 22 (Earth Day), Secretary Vilsack announced

    F            Elementary School in Washington, D.C.,
                 made national headlines in March when they
                 broke ground for an 1,100-square-foot
                                                                  that USDA would expand its original garden concept to
                                                                  include the grounds of USDA’s Jamie L. Whitten
                                                                  Headquarters Building, which fronts The National Mall. The
organic “kitchen garden” on the south lawn of the White           first phase of the garden is called the “Three Sisters” Garden,
House. The garden will grow spring vegetables for the White       in reference to the Native American tradition of interplanting
House and Miriam’s Kitchen, an organization that serves           corn, beans and squash in the same mound. The planting
homeless people in the District of Columbia.                      method is a centuries-old, sustainable process that has
   Although the garden will provide food for the first family,    provided long-term soil fertility and a healthy diet to
Mrs. Obama says that its most important role will be to           generations of American Indians.
educate children about healthy, locally grown fruit and               The garden will also include raised organic vegetable beds,
vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become        organic transition plots, an organic urban container garden,
national health concerns. This kitchen garden is the first        an organic kitchen pollinator garden, rain gardens and a bat
vegetable garden at the White House since First Lady              house. USDA is planning to have the garden fully certified
Eleanor Roosevelt planted her victory garden during World         organic within three years.
War II. The garden contains 55 varieties of plants;                   The vegetable garden is expected to provide a large variety
predominantly vegetables.                                         and amount of produce, which USDA plans to donate to a
   In February, to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th            local food bank.
birthday, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that
USDA would convert a 1,250-square-foot section of                 Co-op concept extends to gardening
pavement at its headquarters into a “People’s Garden.” The           Even before the First Lady announced plans for her
name derives from USDA having been created during                 garden, interest in community gardening was on the rise.
Lincoln’s presidency, which he often referred to as “The          Ecological and food safety concerns and the recession have

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