Monday, 27 October 2008


Some people may see may see Kitchen Gardeners International mostly as an American group but I am here to tell you that Roger Doiron's campaign to put a vegetable garden on the White House lawn is a symbol of the future for all of us. The USA president is a powerful man and we have seen how much George Bush has affected international relations, climate change, free speech and human rights etc etc....all of these effects ricocheting around the world everyday. Every person in the world has been affected by American policy and will continue to be so if we can all band together to force some change for the better in the USA, even in the smallest ways, it will be magnified as it ripples around the globe.

One thing we vegetable gardening bloggers and readers can do is to support the concept of the White House promoting vegetable gardening by supporting Roger's campaign any way we can, no matter how distant and small it seems. There are a lot of us and together we can help America to be a leader in promoting local, organic food. 

Please, take a moment to read this  KGI's latest newsletter and follow the link to making your contribution to the health of the people and the environment and in fact the future existence of our civilisation. It is an important step in the future for every life form on earth.

Dear Kitchen Gardener,

This October has had an international flavor in our household. My family and I recently hosted Australian gardener, blogger and seed saver, Kate Flint, for a few days.  Kate is a member of KGI's small board and is better known these days as the globe-trotting "vegetable vagabond."  She is on the last leg of gardening world tour where she's been staying with various people from Asia, Europe and the US, all of whom grow some of their own food. Check out Kate's blog to get the full story on who she saw, what she ate and where she managed to fit in some gardening. As you can see from the photo above, we put her to work digging our Belgian endives out of the ground for winter forcing- thanks again Kate for helping and visiting!

I also want to thank all of you for helping out on a group gardening project that is really starting to bear fruit. Rather than explain what I mean, I'll let this e-mail I received earlier this week do the talking:

....................."I wanted to write to inform you that we are announcing the winners of the Climate Matters Video contest and that your video, This Lawn is Your Lawn, has won third place. Our judges loved your video and the very simple and yet powerful message of a garden outside the White House. The story, announcing our winners, will break on through Andrew Revkin's blog and through a nationwide press release. Over the coming days it will broadcast on LinkTV, FSTV, and be highlighted in an email blasts to over 80,000 Brighter Planet and 1Sky community members. It will be offered through as an ad to be shown in districts around the country and distributed to every member of congress and each presidential campaign alongside the other winners. We are also working on having it air at the eco-film festival prior to the San Francisco Greenfestival as well as the Wild and Scenic Film Festival."

Your mouseclicks and views of our This Lawn is Your Lawn video helped propel it into the finals where it was then judged a winner by a star-studded panel. So, give yourself a pat on the back for helping to get the word out IN A BIG WAY about the "First Garden."  The Campaign has now been written up in over 450 papers nationwide and, via this contest, will soon have a TV audience of close to 50 million households.  And, if all that wasn't enough, the sustainable food superstar, Michael Pollan, recently wrote a long article for the New York Times which ends with an "eat the view" recommendation of his own to the next president.

So, you might be asking what tricks, if any, we still have up our sleeve.  We have just one and the most challenging one of all: keep it all going and growing!  Kitchen Gardeners International doesn't accept advertising money or grants from large corporations or government sources because we want to pursue our healthy agenda free of any philosophical constraints.  So that means we count on kitchen gardeners and local food advocates like you for 98% of our modest operating budget (the other 2% of last year's budget came from book sales, in case you're curious).

I recognize that the global economy is iffy at best, but I'd like to ask for your participation in our end of the year funding drive, even if it's just a symbolic donation.  Since organic gardeners are strong believers in biodiversity, we're offering a diverse selection of ways to give.

1) Our new brand new 10 day eBay auction:  we're hoping to raise some money and awareness for our Eat the View! work by auctioning off a 1 square foot piece of the "White House Lawn"...MY WHITE HOUSE LAWN!  The auction will end on November 2nd just 2 days before Election Day. We're hoping that if we can get a few large bids in that it will generate some funds and some media attention at a critical moment in the election cycle.  Because we're a tax-exempt charity, all proceeds go to KGI (eBay waives its fees for nonprofits selling directly).  The winning bidder can take a tax deduction on the difference between the fair market value of the item (which we estimate to be $'s organic!) and the amount paid.  It is possible to submit a bid anonymously for those for whom discretion is important. For those who are wondering, we have the written approval of eBay to conduct a charity auction in this way.  Click here to go to our new e-bay auction page.

2) $10 as a donation to KGI and a symbolic statement of support for the Eat the View! campaign.  This is for people who want to make a smaller gesture of support on behalf of the campaign.  Our goal with this part of our drive is to sell 1000 square feet of the White House (symbolically only!) by the time the next president takes office.  This donation can be made online with a credit card or by mailing in a check.  There is no link with eBay.  There is also a possibility to do this as gift in someone else's name by making the donation and then filling out a do-it-yourself "certificate of ownership" which can offered as a thoughtful and eco-friendly holiday gift.  Click here to go to our White House Lawn sale page at

3) A regular, ol' fashioned tax-deductible donation to KGI with no connection to the Eat the View! campaign, the White House lawn or eBay.  This donation can be made online by credit card or bymailing in a check

Whatever way you choose or have already chosen through a contribution made earlier this year, thank you for your support. Together, we are really making a difference.


Roger Doiron
Compost-Pile-Turner-in-Chief, Kitchen Gardeners International
Seed Sower, "Eat the View" campaign

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