By Vanessa Richins
The community garden movement has reached the global level.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that a community garden will be planted at every USDA facility in the world.
The announcement was made on February 12th, 2009, in honor of President Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday.
Lincoln was instrumental in changing the science of agriculture and gardening forever. In 1862 he created the Department of Agriculture, and also signed the Morrill Land Grant Act, which created the state university system to teach and study agriculture and the extension service to bring this information to the public.
The first community garden to be planted will be the “USDA The People’s Garden,” located near the USDA Farmer’s Market in Washington DC. 1250 square feet of concrete will be removed. The work started when Secretary Vilsack broke the pavement at the Feb 12th event.
In honor of the event, First Lady Michelle Obama brought a magnolia seedling from a tree planted at the White House by President Andrew Jackson in memory of his wife Rachel, who died just before he was inaugurated.
The Environmental News Service reports, “I hope that this seedling brings years of joy and beauty to the garden that will be planted here, in the same way it has brought beauty to the White House for 180 years,” said First Lady Obama as she delivered the magnolia seedling, Magnolia grandiflora, to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.”
“The gardens will be designed to promote “going green” concepts, said Vilsack, including landscaping and building design to retain water and reduce runoff; roof gardens for energy efficiency, native plantings and sound conservation practices.”
I am excited to see the government embracing the Community Garden system. Now we just need our White House Victory Garden!