When times are tough, the tough plant victory gardens!

[Digging a Victory Garden. Creative Commons photo by Tavis Ford]

Last Thursday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack began turning a stretch of pavement at the Department of Agriculture into a garden. They dedicated the land on the 200th anniversary of the USDA founder’s birth: Abraham Lincoln. Not only are they working on a garden at USDA headquarters, but Vilsack announced plans to start community gardens at all USDA offices across the globe! Is this the Obama administration’s answer to petitions from Eat the View and the WHO Farm on Change.org?

At the dedication, Vilsack said:

It is essential for the federal government to lead the way in enhancing and conserving our land and water resources. President Obama has expressed his commitment to responsible stewardship of our land, water and other natural resources, and one way of restoring the land to its natural condition is what we are doing here today – “breaking pavement” for The People’s Garden.

I’d still love to see all of that thirsty grass on the White House lawn transformed into a food garden, but this is a wonderful start!

The project will transform 1,250 square feet of unnecessary paved surface at the USDA headquarters into green space, and they’re doing it responsibly, too! Each garden’s design will promote sustainability by example. They’re planning to build and landscape to retain water and reduce runoff, include green roofs, and stick to native plants.

Way to lead by example! There are all sorts of benefits to planting a garden:

Do you have your own food garden? How has it affected the way you eat?