White House Food Will Soon Be Local

25 03 2009

The White House will soon follow in the footsteps of the University of Connecticut by creating its own vegetable garden.

According to  a recent New York Times  story,  the staff and the Obama family began to create the garden on Friday,  the first at the White House since World War II.

A layout of the White House vegetable garden

A layout of the White House vegetable garden

Mrs. Obama was inspired to create the garden after having struggled as a working mother to feed her children nutritional food. The kids’ pediatrician woke her up.

“He raised a flag for us,” Mrs. Obama told the  Times.

According to the New York Times story, the garden will have 55 varieties of vegetables, including five types of lettuce, chard, collards and black kale. They will also grow berries and a variety of herbs.

The EcoGarden club, a student-run organization of about  ten at UConn, runs  the  school’s  vegetable garden. They grow  a variety of food, including tomatoes, herbs, and various greens. The club makes profit off their garden by selling food to the dining halls and local restaurants, but that isn’t their primary goal. They sold  over $900 worth of produce, primarily greens, to UConn’s Whitney Dining Hall in 2005.

EcoGardeners hard at work in the garden

EcoGardeners hard at work in the garden-Photo courtesy of the EcoGarden Club

If people aren’t able to grow a garden, there are other changes they can make to improve their diet.

“You can begin in your own cupboard,” Mrs. Obama said. ” by eliminating processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables.”