GARDENERS UNITE – Let’s bring a garden to the world

I know, I know. 2 posts in one week and they both are in the “Getting Political” category. What is that Hanna thinking? Well, I am thinking that I can count the number of degrees shown on the thermometer on one hand and nothing gets the blood heated like a good political discussion. And if you can tie that political discussion into gardening, ah well… that just makes the blood and heart all warm and fuzzy. But not moldy fuzzy. That would be just icky.

In just a few days, the US will be marking a historic event. Barack Obama will be sworn into office. So why is this so historic? Because he is the very first Gen X president (ok, border line, but then so am I am the other end). Forget all those other firsts that people are tattering about. The fact that he is from my generation is something I stand in awe of. Hot Damn, I am finally a grown up.

What makes it even better is that Mr. Almost-President Obama is a man made from the same internet marketing soul as me. He gets why the internet is something bigger than a passing fancy and a fart in the wind. And he has and is using it to shape the future. I promise I am getting to the gardening part here shortly.

After he won the elections, Obama took his outstanding understanding of the web and commissioned a website for communicating with the American Public. It is not only a place where he can speak out to us, but where we the citizens of said American Public can talk back as well.

In the Citizen’s Briefing Book people have the opportunity to present ideas and other people, in true Digg fashion, have the opportunity to say if they are where we want the country to go or if those ideas are crap. Then, when voting is closed, the best and most voted up ideas will site before the very eyes of the President.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is our time. We have an unprecedented Gardening Moment before us. This is the time that gardeners should rally together as one to accomplish an all important task. Of course what that one task should be is up for debate, but I want to present a few:

Bring Back the Victory Garden — We as a country have spent billion$ shoring up banks that made bad decisions. Isn’t it time we invested in another kind of savings plan? Tax credits for those who keep a vegetable garden and grant money made available for expanding community gardening projects would not only improve our national nutrition but would help to offset the cost of the mess the credit crisis has caused.

Support the Small Farmer — Small farmers support an important niche in the US. A niche that is growing and can have legs in the US. Not only would this help to create jobs, but would work to make locally grown food more available and affordable. Locally grown food is certifiably more nutritious due to the fact that it can be picked closer to peak and that there is less time from harvest to consumption for it to lose vitamins and minerals.

Invest in City Farming — There are hundreds of abandoned lots and buildings that are just rotting in our city centers, inviting crime and filth to accumulate in areas where it only compounds the problem. Using eminent domain to seize these lots and turn them into urban farms that not only employ the local population but feed the local population would work to reclaim the food deserts we have created in our urban centers.

Create a White House Vegetable Garden — What better way to encourage home gardening than to start at the top? Mandate that a vegetable garden needs to be established on the grounds of the White House. Require that the food from that garden be used in the meals at the White House. Hire gardening experts who can create a vegetable gardening space that is efficient and could be duplicated by the average citizen. Include the garden on official White House Tours. Heck, instead of signing bills in the Rose Garden, start signing them in the Vegetable Garden instead.

There are so many things to vote on. So many ideas that a new president should look at. We gardeners know how important gardening is and this is the chance for us to let the incoming President how important it is.

Register on the site and vote for the ideas that appeal to you (even if they are not gardening ideas). Heck, submit your own ideas to the site and post about them on your blogs to bring in the votes. Together, we really, really can bring a garden to the world.

33 thoughts on “GARDENERS UNITE – Let’s bring a garden to the world
  1. So true. I’m so hoping that we get some change in these areas. I think supporting smaller farmers is my favorite. That’s something we can all do with our cash. I try to buy most of my produce/meat/dairy from small local farms. This year I was able to purchase about 80% of my food from small local farmers. If everyone did that the large agri-businesses would cease to exist pretty quickly and our small local farms would be strengthened!


  2. Excellent ideas! I absolutely support this means of communication between our elected officials and those they represent. It is about time!


  3. I love it!!!! It’s another case of putting the people back in democracy, food back in our yards- putting the plants back in our food and the food out of our plants!


  4. SueLovesCherries on

    First, what a good way to segue from politics to gardening! Second, I like all your ideas. I vote that Obama puts his mo-in-law to work as the official White House gardener!


  5. Hello Hanna,
    I am new to your blog and I have a blog too which is also new and will involve gardening as well as birds and anything else that is interesting to me.

    I love your blog, everything I see so far is right to the point and very useful as well as a fun read.

    I also had to add my political bit to my blog, if you have time, I’d be honored if you’d take a look
    I’ve added your blog to my list of favorites.


  6. Hi Hanna,

    I like Obama’s idea that we are all in this together and together, we can get through it. Involving the community speaks to this idea.

    For those interested in starting a community garden, I found a website (no affiliation) offering free grants.


  7. I’d love to see Obama and his campaign accept $Zero from the chemical companies that make all the crap we coat our food crops with. If he’d go one step further and create legislation that takes away the tax breaks for farmers who use chemical pesticides – and gives those tax breaks to farmers who grow organic he’d be my hero. And how about making it easier for those organic farmers to be certified as such and get rid of all the red tape??


  8. Carol Williams on

    I never post but just had to comment on your statement about the new prez being part of your generation…that was the first thing my live-in said. he’s 10 years younger than me and had never voted until this year (did i hear your breath suck in–shocking isn’t it?) but he claims its because this was the first time he truly felt like he could vote for someone that wasn’t an old white guy…we baby boomers always wanted to change the world—i’m not sure we changed it for the better—i hope your generation can help lead us to it. i doubt we will see a white house garden–but it is a pretty cool thing to think about.


  9. All wonderful ideas! I think all our public schools need gardens for the cafeteria with salad bars! Glad to see another gardening/political blog!


  10. Bravo! Wouldn’t it be great if we really could unite to make that happen? Everything is possible… I’ll be sure to check back with your blog on the topic…


  11. Hi Gardeners: It may interest you to know that the White House has had it’s own vegetable and flower garden for years. All the vegetables served at the White House apparently used to come from this garden, and all the flowers used for decoration, also came from this garden. I have a book called Historic Photos of the White House and we are interviewing the author on one of our online radio shows this month. One of our questions is about whether or not that garden still exists–and if it is organic. Also of interest, is that Woodrow Wilson brought in sheep to graze the White House lawn as a budget-minded way of tending to the lawn. The next President got rid of the sheep. Interesting… We have an online home and garden radio show called Garden Gossip, through We would love you to listen and have a look at our website, as we also have a great gardening section.
    Cheers and great Gardening!


  12. I’m with you about the Victory gardens and such. We got a greenhouse this year and right now it is being used to overwinter some plants I wanted to keep alive, but am planning on planting some seeds very soon. It will come in handy if we do indeed have to grow more of our own vegetables the way the economy is going.

    Also, we have turnips in the tomato beds now and I think it is time some were brought in for cooking. I didn’t thin them properly after they came up and some aren’t very large yet. However, some are ready. We had some with our New Year’s Day dinner. We are living in exciting times. Happy gardening or getting ready to garden once again. Now is sort of the only time we get to rest and plan for the coming season.


  13. Hello All,
    I love all of your ideas. My husband and I (mostly me) are putting in a veggie garden for the first time in many, many years. I used to garden big time and freeze and can produce and all that good stuff. Now is the time to get at it again.

    I plan on starting some of my own plants from seed so I can get some really cool varieties.

    Thank you for your blog. You’re doing great things here.


  14. Hey Hanna,

    I think your ideas for the direction our country (and our White House) should go are really great. I’ve recently gotten interested in freedom gardening, self sufficiency, and the “back to the land” movement in general, so your blog is fascinating to me!

    I definitely voted for those ideas on th Briefing Book back when it was up.

    Here is a link to TheWhoFarm (The White House Organic Gardening Project) which has a petition for President Obama to develop an organic garden at the White House:

    Keep posting girl, I love your blog and it’s an inspiration to me! I’ve only got a few seedlings going right now (my first foray into apartment homesteading) but it’s a start!

    @Chiot’s Run: I recognize you from Small world. 😀


  15. Totally approve of this! What great ideas… I would vote if I could, but being an ‘alien’ (have you ever noticed that when you go into other countries you are a foreigner, but in th US you are an alien? what’s up with that?) I can’t vote in the US.

    I (and I am sure many aliens) will watch with interest.


  16. After our Garden Gossip online radio show, we asked about the White House garden and were told the veggie and flower gardens in the Conservancy were removed to make room for the West Wing… too bad. However, Obama does seem ready to make tons of changes needed–maybe getting decent food without perservatives and crap in it will be at the top of the list..


  17. I love your ideas. I have had a few of them myself. last year I plowed up the back quarter of my yard and expanded my garden. Slowly but surely my back yard will one day be completely planted except for walk strips and rest islands.

    Please keep writing, you are wonderful to read.


  18. Before anyone gets all saddled up to seize private property using imminent domain to grow vegetables on, please consider the ramifications of destroying the constitution that way.

    I’m an urban gardener and would love to use an empty lot, but it isn’t in any way right to steal land from a person who may have scrimped and saved for it and just can’t put a house up yet. Even if they never choose to, it isn’t my right.

    Lots of great ideas, but think of folks in Crystal River or all along the east coast who have lost their homes through ED in order to give it to other private developers because they get more money from it. ED isn’t a game for tomatoes…


  19. carolynp on

    Superficially, Obama is a politician from this generation. Unsuperficially, Obama keeps the Oval Office so hot the reporters are complaining. He has the heat set at 73 degrees. This president feels conserving and making sacrifices is for the little folks like you and me. I’m not holding my breath for him to do anything that is not self-serving for our country.


  20. Well the new dictator in chief has proven that none of this is important to him. I am a huge fan of the home garden, and of the peace that it brings not merely to the individual but to the environment around it. I am of course therefore opposed to coercion, violence, and theft, which are the only powers of government.

    If top down dictating of social, economic, and practical life were good and effective, we would all be learning Russian because the Soviets would have plowed under the US. The dramatic increase in governmental regulation under Obama WILL continue to harm us, as will his whole hearted adoption of the practice of deficit spending which helped to cause this down turn in the first place.

    If you want to look at Obama as a member of any group, place him square in the privileged class where he belongs. He is no friend to honest people, any more than any other politician will be. Never forget that he adopted acts of war earlier than almost any other president in history with his order to bomb women and children in Pakistan who posed no threat to anyone. This was a direct order, no room for side stepping blame on his part.

    Is the a friend of the gardener? No. He is advocating FORCING rural (and non-rural) homeowners to use city water and cap their wells (in the dishonestly named “stimulus bill”). How does this impact the gardener, well on top of shortening our own lives, city water is full of dangerous chemicals such as methyl-ethyl Ketone used to “purify” the water, but which kills the microbes in the soil that we gardeners rely upon to feed our plants.

    If you want to look for a politician who was pro-garden and pro-gardener, you will find but one: Thomas Jefferson.


  21. Madame One Tree \ on

    How do I unsubscribe from this site? I would like not to be listed here anymore. Too much critical rhetoric, not enough gardening for me.


  22. @Madame One Tree: I am very sorry about that. It seems that a few people have mistaken my blog for a politial soapbox rather than investing in their own blog. I am right there with you is saying too much critical commentary and not enough gardening. I for one am sick people using my blog this way. They should take it elsewhere as many of us don’t care to hear about it.

    You can unsubscribe at the bottom of the email. Or, if you shoot me your email address through my contact form, I can ubsubscribe you.


  23. Hanna,
    Your ideas are spot on/right on and in these troubling times desperately need implementing. Thanks for this post which gives me and your other readers lots to think about.

    Jon at Mississippi Garden


  24. Thanks for the words an bout small farmers. We are very small farmers and we need all the help we can get, Of course if you can handle a shovel or hoe that would be really helpful.


  25. Madame One Tree \ on

    @ Hanna: Thank you, I believe your heart is in the right place and your concepts are wonderful. It is unfortunate that your site is being used this way. Part of the reason that I love gardening is the peace and and joy I find in being a caretaker of the little piece of dirt that I am in charge of and I am not finding that amongst the factioned.
    I will try at the bottom of an email.
    Blessings to your endeavors, Hanna.


  26. Hanna,
    I just found your site. I am a conservative 50plus male and I love to garden to relieve the stress from my job protecting the public from harm. I am concerned that you are drinking the “Obama Kool-aide” Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t believe that he has ever gotten his hands dirty planting and digging in the dirt like you and I have. How about focusing on the gardening aspect and leave the politics out ? We do have common ground to plant in ….


  27. Ok, I guess I was just a little too subtle in my last comment.


    This post was really about the fact that it was a fun idea that maybe some gardening things could be done politically as the current president has some idea that the internet runs on something other than “tubes.”

    If you want to talk about your political views, take it to a politcal blog. Otherwise, any more comments in regards to politics on this post will be deleted. period.


  28. I think you are right on with all these suggestions. I would dearly love to see a return of the victory garden, as well as urban farming. And it is important to buy from small farmers as they have a tough enough time making it, and their food is better than commercial farms.


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