Thanks to reader Jon Anderson for pointing me in the direction of some more disturbing information about the new gardens at USDA offices announced recently by Tom Vilsack and Michelle Obama. I wrote about how the gardens, though organized by the Department of Agriculture, won’t actually have any food plants in them. According to Obama Foodorama, Secretary Vilsack’s staff has heard the public uproar about this, and arranged to recreate history, rewriting Vilsack’s comments from the garden announcement to make it seem that Vilsack intended to have vegetables in the new gardens all along.
Whether these gardens actually ever get planted, however, is in serious doubt. It seems that there is no actual budget for the gardens, and there are no actual plans developed for the gardens outside the USDA headquarters or its offices elsewhere around the world. Secretary Vilsack’s idea seems to have been to announce that gardens would be made, and then, somehow, without any planning or purchasing of plants or seeds, the gardens would just appear.
This incident is worrying on a larger scale than just the gardens themselves. If the Secretary of Agriculture can’t even organize the planting of a vegetable garden, then how can he reasonably lead an organization with responsibility for an entire nation’s food policy?
It’s not just a Vilsack problem, of course. It’s an Obama problem. There’s still no response from the Obama White House to the Eat The View campaign to establish a vegetable garden on the White House lawn.