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White House School Garden Project: Open Letter to the New Mom-in-Chief

The Obamas should plant a school garden at the White HouseEditor’s note: The following post was originally published by OnEarth. I felt it was such a wonderful suggestion and fits right in with the idea of Michael Pollan to turn the White House lawn into an organic farm, that I asked to republish it on Eco Child’s Play.

Dear Ms. Obama:

What will be your first order of business as “Mom-in-Chief”? Here’s a suggestion: invite Malia’s and Sasha’s classmates to plant an organic garden at the White House. Think of the lessons that your children and their classmates will reap.

There can be no grain without pain.

Digging up turf and prepping soil is hard work. Success in the garden is a direct function of the effort that went into creating and sustaining a hospitable environment for plants.

Addressing challenges requires a systems approach to problem solving.
Contrary to popular myth, the most successful organic growers think and act like scientists. They try to emulate not annihilate natural processes.

Humility is one crop that keeps on giving.

When Malia, Sasha and their classmates lose their first crop of peas to _________ (fill in the blank), they’ll never forget that experience. It won’t be their last crop failure.

Success that is earned is success that is relished.

There is nothing comparable to the experience of creating a meal out of homegrown produce. Imagine the smiles on Malia’s and Sasha’s faces as they bound into the White House with their first ripe tomatoes.

By encouraging your children and their classmates to get their hands dirty, you just might catalyze a movement that will reconnect Americans with nature and real food.

Josh Hinerfeld is the parent of two children ages eight and fourteen and the chief executive officer of Organically Grown Company, a distributor of organic produce based in Eugene, Oregon. He started gardening when he was eight years old.

Image: Fresh Scoops


  1. Definitely love the idea! What about starting a petition and letting the Obamas know that a lot of people feel this way. It’ll really help this bad economy if people grow some of their own food, they’ll have more money left over to spend on other stuff! And not to mention, organic gardening uses less energy then flying our food in from around the world.

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