Michelle Obama comments on her commitment to Community Gardens.

Post date: Feb 20, 2009 9:06:42 PM

2.20.2009 9:18 AM

Is Michelle Obama Ready to Plant a New White House Garden?

The First Lady talks up community gardening in a speech to the USDA.

Photo: AP Photo / Susan Walsh

So far, President Obama hasn't responded to calls from the likes of Eat the View to plant an organic garden on the White House lawn, but First Lady Michelle Obama had some encouraging words about the USDA's new community gardening program Thursday.

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launched the People's Garden Project to develop gardens at all USDA facilities that will demonstrate sustainable gardening techniques to the public.

Speaking to Department of Agriculture staff, Michelle Obama presented a sapling from the Jackson magnolia, a magnolia tree on the South Portico of the White House planted by President Jackson to honor his wife, Rachel. Obama pronounced the new program "a very good thing."

"I was ... particularly pleased to hear that (Vilsack) is working on creating these wonderful gardens here at the USDA. ... and kicking off this effort to build these gardens all over the world in all of the facilities of the USDA, because I'm a big believer in community gardens, both because of their beauty and for their access to providing fresh fruits and vegetables to so many communities across this nation and the world."

The bulk of her remarks were used to thank USDA employees for their service and talk up the president's economic stimulus and renewable energy plans. (full transcript)

Does this mean Michelle will take on the charge of creating a garden at the White House? She certainly didn't commit to that ... but maybe with a little more urging, she'll be moved to act on her clear passion for community gardening. After all, she has vowed to make the White House the "people's house" -- shouldn't the people's house have a community garden?

Find this article at: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/michelle-obama-gardens-47022002