White House Lawn For Sale
My mates over at Kitchen Gardeners International, promoters of local food, globally, have come up with a great scheme, following on from their 'Eat the View' campaign that I posted about last week. They are having a Great White House Lawn Sale - literally!
Read this from KGI for all the details.
Here's the deal: with one First Family moving out 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the next few months and a new one moving in, KGI is taking it upon itself to organize a little "lawn sale" on their behalf, but not type you might think.
And here's the explanation. As a law-abiding nonprofit group, we of course can't really sell you the South Lawn any more than we can sell you the South Pole or the Brooklyn Bridge. We can't do it and we don't have to. The First Lawn already has an owner: the American people!
But, if you're like me, the White House's sprawling grassy landscape doesn't feel like it's yours. It doesn't look like it would look if you were Landscaper-in-Chief because it's missing a key element: an organic kitchen garden. It's had one before and, given the changing times, it should have one again. Hence the idea of a "lawn sale." What better way to give people a renewed sense of ownership and control over something than to give them a chance to buy it back?
We've checked with the listing experts at eBay and, although we can't sell and ship you a real piece of "First Turf", we can sell you a virtual one (regardless of your nationality) provided that you agree to donate it virtually back to the American people for the digging of a new food garden in 2009.
I know that this is a weird idea, but it might be just weird enough to start a buzz. The more people who buy into the idea of turning part of the First Lawn back into a productive, edible landscape, the more attention it will attract to our "Eat the View" campaign (and petition) and the stronger it will become.
Kitchen Gardeners International is a nonprofit organization, so eBay waives its normal fees which means that all the proceeds from the sale help support Kitchen Gardeners International's diverse efforts to grow more gardens and gardeners worldwide. In the past year, KGI have helped groups in Africa, Asia, South America, and North America to either start or expand garden projects and have seen our network grow to over 7000 gardeners from 100 countries. Thousands of people use the free and advertising-free website every day to learn how to grow some of their own food and connect with others doing the same. With the world in the grips of intersecting food, fuel and environmental crises, the work and network Kitchen Gardeners International provides have never been more important.
This is the one and only general funding appeal KGI are conducting this year, so please give what you can, even if it's just a symbolic contribution of $10 for a single 1' x 1' parcel. By participating, you're not only making a donation, but a statement and, if enough people join in, a real difference. Not bad for ten bucks.
We're starting the sale with 1/4 acre or roughly 10,000 sq ft because 10,000 is the maximum number of items that can be sold in a single eBay sale. Our hope is to "sell" and "donate" back a 1/2 acre worth of the White House lawn, an area which we feel would be large enough to supply fresh produce to the White House kitchen and local food pantries, the goal of the "Eat the View" campaign. That will still leave roughly 17.5 acres for the Rose Garden, jogging track, tennis court, swimming pool, flowers, trees, putting green, and, yes, even several acres of grassy lawn for rolling Easter eggs and landing the "First Helicopter."
Needless to say, a purchase of the First Lawn with proceeds going to a global gardening charity makes a unique gift! Donors/buyers will receive a weblink to a "certificate of ownership" that they can download and customize in a friend or loved one's name.
So what do you think? A crazy enough idea to gain publicity, with the proceeds going to a good cause. I love it.
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