Edibles Trend Reaches New Heights

March 20, 2009 - 12:37

In case you ever doubted the popularity of the much-buzzed-about edibles trend, the White House has just made it official: Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on a new vegetable garden near the fountain on the South Lawn, which will supply the White House kitchen, MSNBC reported last week.


The garden will be the first White House garden since the Victory Gardens planted by Eleanor Roosevelt.


The vegetable garden will not only be used for meals, but also as an educational tool to teach children about local growing and sustainability.


Plants will include cilantro; tomatillos; hot peppers; and red romaine, green oak-leaf butterhead, red-leaf, arugula and galactic lettuces. There will be also be spinach, chard, collards, black kale and a patch of berries. Herbs will include some more unusual varieties, such as anise hyssop and Thai basil.


California chef Alice Waters, considered a leader in the movement to encourage consumption of locally grown, organic food, has long dreamed of such a White House garden and has been lobbying for it since 1992, according to the news report. She has been advocating “change through the taste buds since the 1960s.”


Waters organized a series of fundraising dinners in Washington before Barack Obama's inauguration in January that served food purchased from local producers at an area farmer's market to show how it can be done.


The new garden is symbolic of a changing mindset in the country.


"It just tells you that this country cares about people's good health and about the care of the land," she said. "To have this sort of 'victory' garden, this message goes out that everyone can grow a garden and have free food."


Victory gardens were planted during the world wars with encouragement from the government to make sure there was enough food for civilians and the troops. Recent White Houses have grown some herbs and have practiced limited container gardening on the mansion's roof to supply it with tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables.


How will the heightened visibility of the edibles trend impact your vegetable and herbs sales? The spring season will soon tell!


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