The White House Garden

Without doubt the community garden to end all community gardens is right here in Washington, D.C. at the most popular address is town: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Fifth graders from Bancroft elementary school will institute a community garden with their hosts, the Obama family. Led by the efforts of Michelle Obama, the garden will provide produce for the first family and state dinners.

The Bancroft school has had a garden since 2001, so most likely the children will be training the First Lady who has never gardened, but is concerned about her own family’s health. There will be 55 varieties of vegetables and a berry patch, all based upon requests from the White House kitchen staff. Sam Kass, who came to Washington with the Obamas, says the cost of seeds and materials is about $200. The grounds crew will be mostly tending the beds, with help from staff volunteers. One staff carpenter is experienced with honey bees and will be overseeing two hives.

Like many working mothers, the First Lady has had to work hard to create healthful choices for her two daughters. The routine of pizza in the car en route to activities had to stop when the family pediatrician warned of weight gain by the children. Participating in growing their own food is one way to get children interested in sampling different healthy food options.  From the garden, majority of the write-ups are insightful and helpful for the person. Different activities will be held in the garden for the benefits. The growing of the foods will be simple and comfortable for the person with sowing of seeds. 

Cheverly Vegetable Gardens

Perhaps inspired by the success of the Cheverly Community Market, the city of Cheverly provides 41 plots to the community on a first come, first plant basis. Each space is just 4′ x 20′ but at $20 per season, you can raise a large supply of fresh produce from early spring greens to late fall pumpkins.

This community garden, like the Market, has a wonderful sense of community which is not as evident in other locations. Cheverly has a true old-town feel and this shows through in the help freely given to neighbors and the shared tools available in the garden’s shed. As long as you are a good neighbor and clean, then return the tools in the same condition as you found them, the help is readily forthcoming!

Located at Boyd Park, the Cheverly Vegetable Gardens also require 3 hours per month of volunteer work tending the common areas. You can download an application at

www.cheverlycommunitymarket.com.

DC Urban Gardeners

Since the District of Columbia community gardens are small and hard to locate online, look to DC Urban Gardeners to find a community garden right for you! http://www.dc-urban-gardener-news.com/ can give you resources for everything gardening in the nation’s capital.

Since most of the local gardens are small and without web sites, volunteers have put together a spreadsheet with location, contact information and other pertinent details. It can be found at

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pH_QguswaoFgs90UAhAW0Bg.

Many community gardens are “sold out” so be sure to apply early for a space. Extra credentials, such as high level security clearance, may be required for the White House garden.