The White House Vegetable Garden: A Permaculture Perspective

Image credit: Sunday Times
The White House Garden - Permaculture Style
Politics is an unforgiving arena - everyone's a critic. No sooner had the Obama's announced their plans for a vegetable garden at the White House, even featuring bee hives for pollination, and Rob Hopkins and the permaculture community starts weighing in on how they would do things differently. Read on to find out what their beef, I mean beet, is with the first family's locavorian habits.
To be fair, my intro may be a little disingenuous. Nobody is saying that the newly announced vegetable garden is a bad thing. In fact Rob calls it "a fantastic development with enormous and potent symbolism." His post over at Transition Culture is actually hugely supportive of this initiative - but he does take the opportunity to offer a "friendly permaculture critique of the Obamas' vegetable garden", discussing what might be done differently if the garden were designed from a permaculture perspective.

Suggestions include putting the garden closer to the house, adding more fruit trees, incorporating hens (fellow TreeHugger Jeff has already advocated strongly for chickens at the White House), and practising companion planting.

To conclude, Rob asks readers for their own suggestions of what might be added - after all, he argues, the Obamas surely read Transition Culture every morning, so what better forum for discussion? Of course, you could also leave your suggestions in the comments below - because Michele is known to visit TreeHugger as soon as she's finished with Rob's latest offerings.

As an aside, the level of public debate in recent weeks around food growing, gardening and nutrition is itself testament to the Obama's gardening initiative. It just goes to show that sometimes all you need to do is plant a seed...

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