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Monday, July 18, 2011

Survival Gardens
Michelle Obama is following in the footsteps of Eleanor Roosevelt who first  planted a Victory Garden on the White House South Lawn in 1943. Then it was about feeding the troops and preventing food shortages.

Now its about solutions for public health, energy dependence, foreign trade and global warming.  Michael Pollan, in his several books and specifically his New York Times article," Dear Mr. Next President......Food, Food, Food," discusses each of these issues and suggests that food policy is a matter of national security.

Michelle Obama's White House Garden is still on the South Lawn, but planting it is about the proper care and feeding of our children rather than our troops. In it's third year of cultivation, the garden has yielded 2000 lbs of produce. Whether or not this is a "victory" the planting of the garden is an example we should follow.

I have taken the liberty of renaming the old "Victory Garden," the new "Survival Garden" because that nomenclature is more suitable to our times. The high incidence of chronic diseases caused by poor nutrition and obesity could be improved through personal gardens.  In addition to the benefits of fresh vegetables, other positive outcomes are exercise, energy savings, and family time.  The USDA estimates that for every dollar spent on seed or fertilizer, a family can expect to harvest $25 worth of food.

Start now and improve your nutrition with a backyard garden.  Depending on where you live, you may have to resort to planting your tomatoes in pots, but you can still expect to pick them this summer. This is the perfect time to plant vegetables for a fall harvest.

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