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January 11, 2009

The White House groundskeepers have made some progress and have launched a gardening practice designed to be more responsible—they are using integrated pest management, fertilizing according to local recommendations, watering only in the early morning hours, and leaving grass clippings to decompose naturally on the lawn. But at the end of the day, it's still a giant lawn and many are asking for more to be done. But is a Victory Garden asking for too much?

White House

A variety of different groups are calling for the Obamas to install a Victory or an Edible Garden in place of lawn to help inspire change at home. One such group, The Who Farm, is driving around the country in two school buses fused together with an edible garden planted on the roof (see their video right here to demonstrate how it can be done. Change.org is extolling the health benefits of growing your own food citing, "Victory Gardens produced 40% of the nation’s produce at their peak, helped conserve food and natural resources at a time of crisis, resulted in the highest consumption rates of fruits and vegetables our nation has seen, and helped keep millions of Americans physically fit and active."

And after all, Eleanor Roosevelt did it back in 1943 and San Francisco's City Hall made the plunge last year.

But with everything on Obama's plate, is a Victory Garden going to get the green light? It seems unlikely, but the sheer amount of people trying to make it happen show that a shift towards local, sustainable, and healthy food production and eating habits has begun.

For more information on a White House Victory Garden check out Eat the View, change.org, The Who Farm and On Day One.

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