One of the more interesting 'campaigns' in the current US Presidential election (Are we there yet?) is by a group called Eat The View whose aim is to plant healthy, edible landscapes in high-impact, high visibility places, whether it's the 'First Lawn' or the lawn in front of your child's school.
A project of Kitchen Gardeners International, a Maine-based network of 6500 gardeners from 100 countries who inspire and teach people to grow some of their own food, Eat The View are urging the next President to show leadership on global issues such as climate change and food security by converting part of the White House's 18 acre grounds back into an edible landscape.
It made sense in the past for the 'First Family' to eat foods grown close to home and - given the climate challenge - it makes sense again. Previous tenants of the White House have taken this on, most notably Eleanor Roosevelt, who planted a Victory Garden at the White House, inspiring many others to follow across the country.
Roger Doiron has taken the lead and created a short video, showing by example how to turn your white house lawn into a garden. Entered in the Climate Matters competition at vimeo, which is a Brighter Planet initiative, and titled 'This Lawn is Your Lawn', it is here for your viewing pleasure.
The beauty of this idea is that the benefits are so broad and the implementation would be so easy. The White House currently employs 8 gardeners, one of whom could be made responsible for the garden. Produce could be used in the White House kitchens, with any excess given to a local food pantry. The photo opportunities and messages that would be sent by this simple action would be innumerable, let alone the health benefits and greenhouse gas savings that would occur.
This is one of many actions that are featured on the website of an agenda setting group called On Day 1, which provides a forum in which people can submit ideas to the incoming President and his team to implement On Day 1.
What do you think? Should Presidents McCain or Obama commit to this action? Would a vegetable garden on the White House lawn inspire you to do the same? Here's what it looked like in the past.