Saturday, March 21, 2009

A portion of the White House lawn to be torn up for a food garden

This has been a well publicized grassroots effort, but the President and Michelle Obama are bringing back a White House garden! Many reports have been filed already, see Kitchen Gardens International whose efforts should be celebrated! The White House lawn has ample space, most of it under utilized lawn.

There are spaces like this all around our communities, even in the city. Kentucky bluegrass, the most common lawn species, is the biggest crop we Americans have planted. Lawn is great where you might want a patch to picnic, or want to toss a ball around. However, the far majority of our lawns are generally not even walked upon except when mowing. If a grassy space is not used for games or leisure there are "higher and better" uses for such real estate, especially in denser urban neighborhoods. Plantings to retain stormwater, plantings for wildlife, and food gardens are few thoughts. Isn't this true about your neighborhood?

An example of upgrading from grass can be found in SE Como Minneapolis at the art installation and care business Museum Services Inc. In 2002, Museum Services was very receptive to the neighborhood's suggestion of converting their football field sized front yard into a community garden. This garden has now served over 80 households for 6 years!

The White House lawn is not the only folks considering a new garden in 2009. Community Gardens are experiencing record number of inquires. Master Gardeners report more questions about vegetable growing. Seed companies are reporting increased sales this early in the season.

Grow everywhere! Need a visual? Look up Farmadelphia.

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