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(post, Cynthia Lair)
Several groups are gathering e-signatures to petition our next commander-in-chief. Their common goal? To get the next president to encourage better energy usage and better eating habits (and hence better health) by putting in a kitchen garden at the White House. It isn’t a new idea. John Adams tended his own garden at the White House. Some past presidents have planted fruit trees; others installed a greenhouse. And then there was Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous Victory Garden, which was mirrored all over the country during World War II. The history of what has taken place on the White House lawn, including the current putting green, can be found in a video posted by Eat the View, one of the citizen groups asking our 44th president to plant a garden on the grounds of the White House. Another group is the Who Farm, aka The White House Organic Farm Project, a nonpartisan, petition-based initiative. [%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption="Lawns, not food, at the White House."] A White House garden was part of Michael Pollan’s recent plea in his open letter to the next president published in the New York Times: bq. Since enhancing the prestige of farming as an occupation is critical to developing the sun-based regional agriculture we need, the White House should appoint, in addition to a White House chef, a White House farmer. This new post would be charged with implementing what could turn out to be your most symbolically resonant step in building a new American food culture. And that is this: tear out five prime south-facing acres of the White House lawn and plant in their place an organic fruit and vegetable garden. So after you vote today, be sure to follow up with a vote for better food.