We love Washington Post garden writer Adrian Higgins. But we really don't see the point of this letter to Michelle Obama, warning her of the many things that can go wrong with a Washington, DC vegetable garden.
Many things can go wrong crossing the street in Washington, DC, too, but that doesn't mean everyone ought to sit huddled in the house instead.
I've never gardened in any city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm, but I have gardened in a city. And my experience of it is, way fewer pests than in the country. Unless you count passers-by offering you criticism as you work. Or reporters taking offense at your optimism.
The best way to deal with pests and diseases in the vegetable garden is to plant a diversity of crops and shrug off the ones that don't do well. As long as the soil is good, you will still get an outrageous bounty of food, no matter what.
And condescendingly directing Mrs. Obama to the nearest Whole Foods at the end of your letter–is this what you really mean, Adrian? That gardening is best left to the professionals because it's too hard for amateurs?
This is the same tired point of view we've all been spoonfed for the last 60 years, ever since World War II ended. It's been good for Scotts Miracle-Gro and Monsanto, but lousy for the environment, for our bodies, and for our spirits. And I count myself as living proof that it is entirely untrue.
I say, go for it Michelle! You and your husband have already proven the pessimists wrong once and showed us that we live in a far better country than we thought. I have faith that you can do the same thing again in the garden.