On the very same historic day that the White House planted its first vegetable garden, I received my first organic seeds in the mail. It was a day that was a long time coming. Finally (!) our government appears to be recognizing the irrefutable link between food and our environment, our health and our community systems. Finally (!) I get to plant my first garden, something that I’ve dreamed about ever since I was a kid and later became a chef (now finally a possibility since I’ve moved out of the city). Oregon Trail Shell Peas, Dinosaur Kale, Palermo Bush Bean, Zefa Fino Florence Fennel, Cocozelle Bush Zucchini… just typing these words sends my heart racing and mouth watering!
Will the First Lady’s symbolic message really be absorbed by a nation that has long supported (and literally been consumed by) cheap, industrialized foods? Will my beloved vegetables ever even reach my mouth? (I should admit that I have never grown anything from seed before and can hardly keep the poor plant in my office alive.)
I will remain hopeful. Spring is here, after all, and this is the perfect time to believe in renewal, both for our nation and for the bare 14×14-foot plot of dirt outside my kitchen window. I’m perfectly aware that I probably have wispy fennel fronds clouding my vision, but I feel invigorated, like a taking gulp of fresh stream water after a winter of drinking sludge.
Our garden might be a puny postage stamp by White House standards, but the vegetables will be just as delicious. That is, if they grow. (If you have any advice, Michelle, I’m all ears.) Only time will tell if this little plot of dirt will lead to the luscious bounty I’ve been fantasizing about, or if our nation’s policies will start to reflect the symbolic spirit of the first White House Garden.
I’ll keep you posted.