White House Hoop House?
by intern Emily Stephenson
First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Chef Sam Kass set a great example this spring when they planted their vegetable garden on the White House lawn. Without a doubt, the project is a successthe garden has taught D.C. kids where their food comes from, fed heads of state from around the world, and hosted last months Healthy Kids fair which featured delicious treats from the garden and Mrs. Obama hula-hooping. Most importantly, the garden has shown families across America that you can eat healthy, affordable, responsible food right out of your own backyard.
This winter, the First Lady can take it one step further. Eating from the garden doesnt only have to be limited to March-October. Michelle Obama is in a perfect position to show us that local food is possible outside of the summer months, no matter where you live. She can bring the countrys attention to the creative ways that people like Eliot Coleman and Will Allen manage to grow food in all four seasons.
Washington D.C. is located in the USDA hardiness zone 7, which means that with the help of a few basic supplies, the White House garden could be producing food all year round. Putting up cold frames a wooden frame covered with glassbrings the zone up 1.5. Putting up a hoop housea simple plastic structure that uses passive solar energy (as opposed to a greenhouse, which is heated)brings it up another 1.5, to a zone 10. To put it in perspective, thats the equivalent of southern California or Florida! These affordable and efficient structures mean the Obamas (and Bancroft Elementary students) could be eating salads, greens, radishes, carrots, turnips and more throughout winter. Think of what a great example they could set for the whole country. And they would be doing themselves a favor, too: vegetables such as kale and carrots actually get tastier and sweeter when left in the cold soil.
To read more, follow this link:
Please enter the word you see in the image below:
Find out about open positions and internships as Slow Food USA.
Find out more.
68 Summit Street, 2B
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Tel: 718 260-8000 or 877 SlowFoo(d)
Fax: 718 260-8068
© 2010 Slow Food USA - All Rights Reserved