Tuesday, April 13, 2010

USDA People's Gardens

The USDA People's Garden (I'm so old it sounds like a Stalinist project) gets some ink in today's Post. For some reason I feel a bit snarky today.  An excerpt:

As of last week, 255 gardens have been established by Agriculture Department workers worldwide, including an indoor lettuce garden in North Carolina and a vegetable garden on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in South Korea. All of the food grown at these gardens -- 29,656 pounds last year --

If all the gardens were in production last year, which presumably they weren't, they averaged about 120 pounds per garden, which is far behind the 1,000+ pounds claimed by the White House garden.

The garden, now that it's successfully being emulated, is also being bureaucratized, as we see here:
This year, the agency decided it would require volunteers to complete a six-week Master Gardener training program and pass an exam before being allowed to volunteer. Taught by extension-service experts who flew to Washington from throughout the country, the course covered topics including botany and storm-water management. That requirement did not dampen enthusiasm for the program. The class's 80 spaces were filled within 15 minutes of the announcement, and 70 other people were turned away, said Livia Marques, director of the People's Garden Initiative. 
Don't know how many experts they flew in--must say something about the inferiority of the Virgina Tech and UofMaryland extension experts who would be familiar with the local climate that they needed to fly people in.

As a final piece of bureaucratization, FSA has issued instructions on the rules for using time to garden.

I shouldn't mock; it's high time the pasty-faced bureaucrats who toil away at their desks got out into the fresh air and got some tan.(Or maybe Sec. Vilsack should provide protective lotion or he'll face some suits over skin cancer.)  The good air of the Washington summer, the heat and humidity, will all be great for them.

No comments: