White House Farm Flashback: 1942


Yesterday, to much fanfare, Michelle Obama hit a local D.C. farmer's market. She took with her "organic Asian pears, cherry tomatoes, multicolored potatoes, free-range eggs and, yes, two bunches of Tuscan kale." She left behind "an aide, who paid the cashier as Obama made her way back to the limousine" and, as Dana Milbank reports in The Washington Post, a huge carbon footprint.

These purchases will presumably supplement the food growing in the Obama family organic kitchen garden (and maybe farmer's market).

But the Obamas aren't the first to garden on the White House lawn. My co-blogger Baylen Linnekin, at Crispy on the Outside, links to this 1942 "U.S. at War" story in Time magazine. Included in the vignettes about wartime deprivation at the White House, this gardening flashback:

Citizen Roosevelt might even have a Victory Garden soon. Mrs. Roosevelt planned to plant one on the White House grounds—if the Agriculture Department, skeptical of amateur farmers, decides that the soil is fertile enough to make a garden worth while. [emphasis added]

More on organic food, locavores, and related issues here.