USDA Gets Back to the Garden

Not to be outdone by the White House, the folks over at the USDA started up their own organic vegetable garden outside the agency’s headquarters on the Mall.

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No matter how you feel about the new administration and about our new Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, Washington’s newfound enthusiasm for gardening is pretty darn wonderful.

Last spring, not to be outdone by the First Lady’s new vegetable garden on the White House lawn, the folks over at the USDA started up their own organic vegetable garden outside the agency’s headquarters on the Mall. The 1,300 square foot vegetable garden is the centerpiece of a master plan that calls for converting the USDA’s entire 6-acre site to a collection of ecologically-sensitive demonstration gardens.

The USDA is calling this new landscape The People’s Garden, taking inspiration from Abraham Lincoln, who, when founding the Department of Agriculture in 1862, referring to it as the People’s Department.

In a short video clip, below, Secretary Vilsack talks about the highlights of this year’s garden and how the initiative is catching on in other parts of the country.

Master Gardeners

Recently, the USDA recognized the valuable services provided free by certified Master Gardeners.

Equally encouraging was a press release from the USDA that came out this past summer. The agency gave its Extension Service Master Gardener program some well-deserved recognition, acknowledging the incredibly valuable community development and educational services being provided free by almost 100,000 certified Master Gardeners.

With so many eager new vegetable gardeners just starting out, there are more demands than ever for the sage advice of Master Gardeners. If you’re interested in helping out, learn how you can become a certified Master Gardener. Most areas offer certification courses at least once or twice a year.

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with an update on the USDA’s People’s Garden initiative.

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2 Responses to USDA Gets Back to the Garden

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds great, but cutbacks have severely curtailed master gardner programs.

  2. hydroponics says:

    Well, plants were really something that you are expecting on your garden because they give a good purpose.I must say gardens were really a nice topic to discuss.

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