Friday, March 26, 2010

Organic Methods Being Used in Growing Vegetable and Herb Garden at the White House

Organic textiles for clothing and bedding go hand in hand with organic agriculture, including both plants and animals, for keeping toxins out of our air, water and soil. Organic agriculture is important for a healthy food system with greater nutritional content. Therefore, from time to time, this blog discusses organic food issues as well as organic textile issues.

For the first time ever, organic gardens have been planted at the White House and at the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture).

White House Garden

First Lady Michelle Obama and White House chef Sam Kass tell the story of the first garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War II. Although it's not certified organic, it is being grown in the same way as an organic garden (see below).

White House Kitchen Garden Fact Sheet

The White House Kitchen Garden measures approximately 1100 square feet and is located on the west side of the South Lawn. It is visible from E Street, with a perfect southern exposure which provides a great deal of sun light.

The soil was tested and was found to be in good shape, including trace elements. Amendments have been made to enrich the soil and rock dusts of lime, green sand, crab meal sourced from the Chesapeake Bay and White House compost have been added to improve the macro and micro nutrient balance. Only organic fertilizers and insect repellants will be used and lady bugs and praying mantises will be introduced to naturally control other insect populations. A honey bee hive has been set up nearby for pollination purposes.

The four-season herb, fruit and vegetable garden will feature 25 varieties of heirloom seeds planted in slightly raised beds using succession planting methods.

Read the full White House Kitchen Garden Fact Sheet

White House Kitchen Garden Diagram 4/9/2009