Which candidate would farm at the White House?



Sprouts in the Sidewalk reported on Kitchen Gardeners International founder Roger Doiron’s campaign for a
food garden at the White House.  What, and give up the red tulips? (Doiron made his case in a post called "Eat the View" on a site called OnDayOne.)

Farther down on the Sprouts post he republishes Barbara Damrosch’s terrific "Message to the President" in which she asks "Which candidate will be the Gardening President?  Who will lead the way in teaching food self-sufficiency and good nutrition to the American people?"

Good question!  Everyone lobbies for their favorite cause, and why not gardeners?  Let’s see if it’s possible to answer Damrosch’s question without getting TOO political here on a gardening blog.  (Commenters, you’re on your own.)

We know Obama got a lot of grief for resisting the traditional all-junk-all-the-time diet of presidential candidates, so his trim physique is no accident.  But how aware is he, really?  Remember he just recently stopped smoking, so could his awareness of other health issues be similarly behind the curve?

Now pretending for a minute (no more, I promise) that Hillary’s still in the running, we’ve seen her knock ’em back in Pennsylvania so Lord knows she’s no health elitist, but seriously, she probably knows more about child nutrition than anyone in politics, what with her years as a children’s advocate and health care wonk. But can you imagine her tending crops where the Rose Garden used to be?

As for McCain’s positions on food self-sufficiency and nutrition, any ideas? 

Not that we’re single issue voters but asking questions like this just might raise awareness, which is presumably the point of the whole On Day One website.

Photo credit: White House.


  1. I don’t see any of the candidates as someone who’d actually get out and get their hands dirty. Well, McCain might, but I suspect it would be a token at best.

    You never know though. The dangdest people turn out to be closet gardeners…

  2. With all that extra fertilizer and hot air in and around the White House, just what climate zone would that be? And how much will the committees cost that will be needed to decide what to plant? Has anyone checked to see who likes broccoli? Forget it! I think I’ll worry about my own Victory garden.

  3. great question, Susan!

    What I find even more interesting is why no one ever asked it before! Way to go.

    We want to know: who will be the gardening president?

  4. Jimmy Carter was a gardening president, and look what happened to him!

    I suspect that the act of true gardening results in an internal toggle being thrown which turns off the obfuscation gene.

    A real gardener can’t gaze upon a bed of kudzu and with a straight face call it jasmine. Those are the skills required of pols these days. I’d like to know if there is anyone who really gardens in any of the three branches.

  5. I’d never be able to find it again, but back a few years ago, McCain’s home in Arizona was in Architectural Digest and I remember it being a pretty homey, comfortable and well landscaped place.

    Here’s some photos of his house (or one of them, remember, his wife is worth more than 100 million!)

    Oban’as home I found here:


    You can compare landscaping on your own. No shots of vegetable gardens. Sorry.

  6. Would you vote for Thomas Jefferson, historically the gardening President and a big time spouse cheater?

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