Monday, May 18, 2009

Victory Gardens

Last night we had the most delicious Caprese salad, and I was able to use fresh picked basil from my herb garden! A couple of weeks ago, I planted loads of different herbs, strawberries, peppers and tomatoes, and I just cleared more space to add different types of lettuce and edible flowers.
Victory Gardens like mine were huge during World War II, people felt patriotic planting gardens in whatever small space they had to help combat food shortages.
I enjoy growing my own food because I know that no chemicals are on it, and nothing is more convenient than having fresh produce available in the backyard. I love that Michelle Obama has started a vegetable garden at the White House, too!!
Published: March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON —Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets — the president does not like them — but arugula will make the cut. Virtually the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds.

Whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.

Then, too, promoting healthful eating has become an important part of Mrs. Obama’s own agenda.

While the Clintons grew some vegetables in pots on the White House roof, the Obamas’ garden will far transcend that, with 55 varieties of vegetables — from a wish list of the kitchen staff — grown from organic seedlings started at the Executive Mansion’s greenhouses.

The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro, tomatillos and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter, Charlie Brandts, who is a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey.

The total cost of seeds, mulch and so forth is $200, said Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef, who prepared healthful meals for the Obama family in Chicago and is an advocate of local food. Mr. Kass will oversee the garden.

Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s executive chef, said she was eager to plan menus around the garden, and Bill Yosses, the pastry chef, said he was looking forward to berry season.

For urban dwellers who have no backyards, the country’s one million community gardens can also play an important role, Mrs. Obama said.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I t always makes me feel so self-sufficient to dig and pick our entire meal out of our garden. I think it's grand how it's becoming the trend again.

Marie Reed said...

These images are the cat's meow! Wow!

Tumble Fish Studio said...

Another wonderful and fascinating post. I would have missed it the article without you and it was such a delight to read it.

You always make me think of things I might not have otherwise. My granny was so dependent on her large garden all of her life and even into my adulthood I got to enjoy it's fruits or vegetables actually. She raised so much of her own food, canned it and enjoyed it all year and had plenty to share with the rest of the family and neighbors. I especially enjoyed the relish, bread and butter pickles, and tomatoes she canned. Mmmmm, mmmm, what I wouldn't give . . . .

Thanks for another lovely post to enjoy.

Sandy and Joe said...

Hi Linda! Seems I'm always commenting on old posts. Sorry -- I get behind in my reading, although I'm trying to be a better cyber-citizen. I'm jealous of your good estate sale finds -- I really miss that about Chicago! We don't have many here in Indiana -- mostly auctions. I'm glad to hear about Norma Kamali at Wal-Mart -- we have one in town, but no Target for 30 miles!! And the letterboxing post was fascinating -- I'm going to look into that for sure. Take care -- sorry to hear about your collections! Just did a little of that myself. xo -- Sandy/rhubarb reign