Politics, The White House, and Gardening.

I don't like mixing politics and gardening. I have always felt that our garden center welcomes people from both sides of the aisle. As a matter of fact I would venture to say that here in the foothills of California my customers are about evenly divided between left and right. This may surprise those of you who think of California as strictly a liberal state. Here in the foothills the trend is toward the right. My county, El Dorado typically votes to the right of issues. Right next door is Sacramento County which is typically a liberal county. So my customer base is made up of lots of different folks, who just want to garden. We don't get behind political campaigns here. If you want to hang your political sign on our fence, (a very busy intersection) it might be hung right next to the opposing sides sign. I just do not want to alienate anyone from shopping at our store. People choose where to shop based on many different factors, and I want people to choose us because we are not political. Don't get me wrong, I have very strong feelings about the subject, but I am able to leave that at home. "Let the people garden" is my motto.

Reading Garden Rant today we find that The White House garden is possibly contaminated with lead.  According to Garden Rant, "after the not-surprising attacks on the organic nature of the garden from the lobby group for Big Chem, this latest attack came curiously from the left." The post continues, "It started with a story in Mother Jones claiming that the garden, with its 93 parts per million of lead, is 'contaminated', supposedly due to the composted sewage applied to the land during the Clinton years." I wonder why we are suppose to be surprised that the attack came from the left? Are all people on the left organic gardeners? Are all people on the right chemical users?

In response to these attacks Eddie Kohan, author of the blog Obama Foodoramama responded, "The other bizarre element to the whole bashing thing is that anyone who thinks the White House left a single stone unturned in planning the garden is...what's the most delicate, diplomatic, term? Oh yeah, silly. The White House was well aware that the first food garden planted on the campus since WWII was going to be big news. Of course all details were accounted for. Of course appropriate testing was conducted. The White House has the finest minds in America, experts in every field, available for consultation. It's beyond silly to imagine that the garden wasn't thoroughly 'vetted.'" Somehow the notion that The White House has "the finest minds in America, experts in every field, available for consultation", doesn't make me feel any better. I don't like the idea of all these experts "vetting" the garden. It sounds like gardening by consultation.

While the idea of The White House garden is a great one, it has been hijacked by all sorts of different special interest groups. I would like to think that The First Lady, or President could just get into the garden, and relax. Yes, the garden is politically symbolic, and of course that's the problem. I have written about other politically symbolic gardens before here.

We have to find some common ground in the country. The garden should be the place. At the nursery I will try and steer you towards organic methods, but how you garden is up to you. As long as your pesticides, or fertilizers don't drift off your property, that little patch of land is yours to experiment in. That's the wonderful freedom we celebrate today.

Have a great Independence Day!