Well, apparently I’ve rubbed off on Michelle Obama. I mean, it was only a matter of time before she realized just how cool I am. She saw my blog about what I am going to plant in my garden and thought, “I can do that.” On Friday she breaks ground on a new vegetable garden. Of course, I am trying to imagine her busting sod, and I can’t. She’ll also be doing it with twenty ten-year-old helpers, so she better be ready to actually get her hands dirty. This is her first garden and I don’t think that the landscapers at the white house will allow it to fail. Slugs will not be eating her peas (unlike mine… as soon as one peeks out of the ground a slimy little bugger slithers over and chomps it no matter how much slug death I put down).
I do think that this is a pretty brilliant gardening P.R. move. There are a lot of people in on this… it was not just her idea. There are school garden advocates, locally grown food advocates, organic food/gardening advocates, etc. all over her to get her to do this. If it makes people think about growing their own food, getting their hands dirty, and bringing back the lost art of gardening, then I think its okay. If she’s going to give in to any of the hundreds of things people want her to do, then I think this is a good one. Unless it opens the door to other things….
Of course, this has been done before, to great aplomb by Eleanor Roosevelt with her victory garden. Things weren’t quite so bleak back then, though. Eleanor got 40% of produce grown from home gardens, but I can’t help but wonder what percentage was grown at home before her garden. I can’t seem to find any stats right now, but just looking around me I would guess that about 1% of produce in the US today is grown at home. People back then weren’t scared of dirt, sweat, and blood. They knew where food came from. So, is Michelle an Eleanor? Can she get people to bust their own sod? We’ll see. I don’t think it will be nearly as successful, though, not to mention that while we are in a “recession” of our own making, that just doesn’t measure up to the pressure that a world war wrought upon the US in the Roosevelt’s time. No matter how in debt they are, people are still putting out money for cell phones, cars, and video game players that they can’t afford. Why would they suddenly decide that they needed to save money on food? Not to mention the work involved in such a thing. No, we won’t be reaching that 40% mark. I can guarantee it.
But this guy has got to be thrilled!