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Edible plants at the White House and your house

Eat the View — Whoever wins the White House will be invited to eat food grown on the White House lawn. Photos courtesy Roger Doiron/EatTheView.org

Eat the View — Whoever wins the White House will be invited to eat food grown on the White House lawn. Photos courtesy Roger Doiron/EatTheView.org

We expect change in the White House with this election and some of us are looking for more than a new occupant. We want a new view.

Meet Roger Doiron, who about three months ago launched Eat the View!, a Web-based drive that encourages use of edible plants in high impact, highly visible places, beginning with the White House lawn.

Previous residents grew food crops and allowed animals to graze on the White House lawn, said Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, which is devoted to people who love to grow, cook and eat their own food.

“What we’re trying to point out with our campaign is that edibles have been an important part of the White House landscape in the past starting as early as the year 1800, when President John Adams moved into the White House as its first occupant. We’re not talking about a new idea, but dusting off an old one and making it new again. Growing fruits and vegetables at the White House made sense before and, given the changes taking place in our world, it makes sense again,” Doiron said.

Doiron’s bid for the White House is part of the larger Eat the View campaign, which promotes planting edible gardens, whether they’re on the First Lawn, your lawn or your child’s school, he said. “We don’t have an end date in mind. We will continue advocating for an edible landscape at the White House until the ‘Eater-in-Chief’ has dug one. We’re focused on that landscape for the moment for its symbolic value, but as the campaign grows, we hope to be able draw attention to and assist other edible makeovers in other parts of the country.”

Eat the View — Roger Doiron removes his white house lawn to plant a vegetable garden as an example for the White House. Photos courtesy Roger Doiron/EatTheView.org
Eat the View — Roger Doiron removes his white house lawn to plant a vegetable garden as an example for the White House. Photos courtesy Roger Doiron/EatTheView.org

With no budget, the campaign has spread and grown by word of mouth, “which speaks to the strong enthusiasm people have for it,” he said. More than 2,000 people have signed the petition.

“We will deliver on our promise by presenting the President-elect with our signed petition and some heirloom seeds, including some varieties that were planted on the White House grounds by previous Presidents,” Doiron said. “The goal is not to return to the past which is of course impossible, but to know and use the lessons of our country’s past as a way of creating a healthy future.”

For more information, watch videos or sign the petition, please visit www.EatTheView.org

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