Archive for the ‘Govt.’ Category

Fellow Massachusetts gardener (and author of one of my favorite gardening blogs!) took a trip to DC and got a glimpse of the garden at the White House this year.  It looks great! 

See for yourself!


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This is very, very exciting!!

From the good people at Kitchen Gardeners International and Eat The View:

“Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden”
On Friday, March 20th, 2009, 23 third graders will join First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn of the White House to break ground on an 1100 square foot kitchen garden that will provide food for family dinners and formal dinners. 
According to the New York Times:

The Obamas’ garden will have 55 varieties of vegetables grown from organic seedlings started at the executive mansion’s greenhouses.
And better still:
Almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said laughing.
Ok, you can stop pinching yourself: you aren’t dreaming this and an off batch of sauerkraut hasn’t caused a rare case of lacto-fermentation-hallucination.
Those of you who have been part of the KGI community for a while know that this is a long-term project of ours, started in February 2008.  It was back in the middle of the presidential primary season when 99.9999% of the population was focused on who the next president was going to be.  We were the .0001% of the population that was thinking about what his or her family was going to eat and where it would be grown. 
It’s been quite a ride for KGI as an organization and for me personally since then.  For those of you who are new and weren’t with us for the trip, we had some fun along the way. We started following a hopeful little web project called OnDayOne.org in February 2008, read about ourselves in the New York Times in April, began putting our names on a White House Food Garden petition in June, hummed along to This Lawn is Your Lawn in July 2008, read about ourselves in the International Herald Tribune in July, placed bids on the White House Lawn which we had put up for sale on eBay in August, watched with wonder as two young guys inspired by our work set off in a funky bus to take the edible White House idea across the country and back, chuckled our way through September watching the Garden of Eatin’, read Michael Pollan’s “Farmer-in-Chief” article with great interest in October which also spoke of a new garden at the White House, voted “This Lawn is Your Lawn” onto national TV through the Climate Matters video contest in October, got swept up in the energy of the November elections, leafed our way through the Washington Post in January, pushed hard to get out the vote in the OnDayOne.org contest later that month (and won that too beating out 4000 other ideas), began inviting more people to sign our petition on our campaign site and on Facebook also in January, spoke with and e-mailed various members of Michelle Obama’s staff in February (me, in this case, but maybe you did too? They said they were hearing from a lot of people.), and here we are in March 2009 reading the headline above and vicariously walking our way through the delicious garden paths of the future South Lawn.

What more can I say besides thank you for all your support and patience with this project.  Many individuals made this great day possible: – Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, John Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Barack and Michelle Obama – but we can feel pride in being the community that pulled together and made a difference. 
So let’s celebrate that.  The seeding or the weeding can wait.  Tomorrow’s about savoring a moment that was a long time in the making.


By the way, I totally miss you guys!  I may have some gardening news soon!

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Sec. of Agriculture

Michael Pollan for Secretary of Agriculture!

Sign the Petition!

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This Historic Moment

Like I said, I’ll keep politics out of this blog, but if you want to know how I, as a historian (did y’all know that I’m a historian?), feel about what happened last night, please check out my personal blog, Tayloropolis.

And there isn’t anything incendiary or aggressive in that post.  So if you’re hurting about the election yesterday, don’t feel like you have to avoid it.  In fact, it’s written mostly for you.

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Today’s the day!

Don’t forget to vote!  Pete and I are going today after work.  I’m bracing for long lines!

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2 Things:

1.  Don’t forget that tomorrow is Election day!  No excuses!

2.  I’ve started writing a new blog (God help us all!) for my CSA, Colchester Farm.  I’m moderating it, in a way, and doing most of the posting, but we will have ocassional guest posts by the couple that runs it and other volunteers.  I hope you’ll check it out- I think you’ll like it very much:


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Know your food sources

Laurie at Slowly She Turned wrote a post today asking her readers to take action on a USDA ruling.  I’m going to post her entry here in entirity, but I do hope you visit her site if you aren’t reading it already.

Thanks, Laurie! 

Comments due by September 30, 2008

The 2002 and the 2008 Farm Bills require retailers to disclose the country of origin of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, wild and farm raised fish and shellfish, perishable fruits and vegetables, peanuts and other commodities on their labels. USDA has issued an interim final rule implementing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), available here: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5070926. The rule will become effective on September 30, 2008 which is also the deadline for comments.

COOL is an important tool for consumers. It allows consumers to choose U.S. produced meats, produce and nuts. The COOL rule, however, provides a vast loophole. It specifically exempts covered commodities found in “processed” food items. The processing loophole is available for foods that have been cooked or marinated or cured or simply when they have been combined with other covered commodities. Excluded, for example, are roasted peanuts, marinated pork loin, salad mixes, fresh fruit cups, dried fruits and vegetables, smoked or cured ham and bacon.

This exemption excludes a significant portion of the foods consumers bring home from their grocery stores on a daily basis and it compromises a consumer’s right to know the origin of the foods they are buying and consuming.

Tell USDA to close the COOL loophole.

There are several ways to submit your comment:

  • You can submit your comment directly from the Food and
    Water Watch website:
    http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=25598, or 
  • You can submit your comment directly to USDA at their
    website: http://www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp
    (Check the box: “Select to find documents accepting comments or
    submissions” and search for “country of origin labeling”, or 
  • You can fax your comment to USDA at (202)354-4693, or
  • You can mail your comment to the address below.Comments should be addressed to:

    Country of Origin Labeling Program
    Room 2607-S
    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA
    Stop 024
    1400 Independence Ave. SW
    Washington, DC 20250-0254

  • Do us and yourself a favor and send in your comments!

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