Garden at the White House

It’s official, because it’s been etched in the pages of our most sacred national chronicle. No, not the Federal Register — I’m talking about O Magazine.

Here’s the scoop: the Obamas will plant a veggie garden in the White House lawn. The First Lady of the United States told the Queen of the Universe as much, in an interview published in the latest edition of O. The excerpt available online doesn’t include the garden stuff, but Daily Green has the money quote:

We want to use [the garden] as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet. You know, the tomato that’s from your garden tastes very different from one that isn’t. And peas — what is it like to eat peas in season? So we want the White House to be a place of education and awareness. And hopefully kids will be interested because there are kids living here.
Yes. I’ve waxed cynical about overstating the importance of the personal choices of First Families; and it’s critical to remember that a White House garden is a symbolic gesture, not to be confused with real change in a unjust, unsustainable food system.

But Michelle O’s sheer fabulousness has won me over. I honestly think she’s going to push her husband to break new ground in food policy.

Update [2009-3-19 15:5:48 by Tom Philpott]: According to a White House press release emailed to Grist, the First Lady isn’t procrastinating on getting in her spring veggies. Reads the press release: “Friday, March 20: The First Lady will host the groundbreaking of the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House. She will be joined by students from Bancroft Elementary [a D.C. public school], who will be participating in the project from groundbreaking on Friday, to planting in the coming weeks and harvesting later this year.”

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