Tag Archives: Transition Movement
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Rob Hopkins on a Post-Oil World

8 Jan

 

Michelle Obama and the Stealth Transition: Gardens Across America

31 Aug

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The way I see it, the smart money is on First Lady Michelle Obama, not to do a Hillary and go for the Big One in a later Presidential Ritual Contest (aka election). No, to do an Eleanor (Roosevelt) and have a major effect on the nation while her husband does the military strut.

How, pray tell, will she do this? you ask. With her garden, says I, with her garden.

Veggies for Health

As you may know, she’s very much interested in gardening, in particular, growing vegetables. She’s set up a garden on the Whitehouse lawn, grown veggies, had them served in the Whitehouse and has recently published a book on gardening and nutrition.

That’s her angle on gardening. Vegetables are good and good for you. They’re essential to a proper diet, and a proper diet is necessary to prevent childhood obesity.

Her interest in and commitment to gardening is deep, predating her husband’s nomination:

“Back then, it was really just the concept of, I wonder if you could grow a garden on the South Lawn?” Michelle Obama says. “If you could grow a garden, it would be pretty visible and maybe that would be the way that we could begin a conversation about childhood health, and we could actually get kids from the community to help us plant and help us harvest and see how their habits changed.”

She was a city kid from Chicago’s South Side who had never had a garden herself, though her mother recalls a local victory garden created to produce vegetables during World War II. One childhood photo included in the book shows Michelle as an infant in her mother’s arms — the resemblance between Marian Robinson in the picture and Michelle as an adult is striking — and another depicts a young Michelle practicing a headstand in the backyard.

… After the election, she broached her idea to start the first vegetable garden on the White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in the 1940s.

Since the garden’s groundbreaking in 2009 — just two months after the inauguration — she has hosted seasonal waves of students from local elementary schools that help plant the seeds. Groundskeepers and dozens of volunteers weed and tend the garden. Charlie Brandts, a White House carpenter who is a hobbyist beekeeper, has built a beehive a few feet away to pollinate the plants and provide honey that Michelle Obama says “tastes like sunshine.”

So, the First Lady has a garden on the Whitehouse lawn and she’s preaching the garden gospel. Good enough.

Gardens in the Transition

The thing is, regardless of why a family or a community decides to grow a vegetable garden, the moment they start doing so, they’re also participating in the Transition Movement. By that I mean the movement started by Rob Hopkins in England and that now has groups all over the world: Continue reading