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1,500,000 Enlist in School Farm Army

November 5, 2008

By David Thier

19-0585a-smThat’s a headline from the New York Times from 90 years ago, in October 1918. I thought it was a good story for this bright new world where anything is possible. 90 years the president called for students to join the school garden army, and the massive outpouring of volunteer labor tilled 60,000 acres. They worked in backyards, front yards and vacant lots, and helped to feed the nation at a time when food was running short worldwide.

If we saw anything last night, it’s that America can, against all odds, actually do something right.
And if we can do that right, maybe we can do other things right to. Obama has a hold on the American zeitgeist that hasn’t been seen since JFK, and I want to see him use that power to change the most basic thing in our civilization: the way we eat. An organic garden on the white house lawn. A school garden army. Subsidy reform, trade reform, nutrition reform, regulatory reform, we can do it all.

Tomorrow, I suppose, we’ll have to face the fact that any president is a long way away from enacting the kinds of views that Michael Pollan asked for in his open letter to the man we now know is Obama, but today we can have hope that things will start to get better.

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