Friday, March 6, 2009
White House Chickens
Michael Pollan generated a lot of discussion with his New York Times Magazine article, Farmer in Chief, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html?em, last October. It was written as an open letter to the next president, undetermined at that time. Electing Barack Obama put a man in office who can be expected to be receptive to the idea. One of Pollan's proposals was to create the post of White House Farmer and replace five acres of grass in the White House lawn with a White House garden, growing organic vegetables and fruit. Surplus harvest could be donated to local food pantries and soup kitchens. I'd take it one step further and add traditional breed poultry to the Farmer's White House operation. Start with chickens, such as these White Dorkings from Joseph Marquette at Yellow House Farm in New Hampshire. He has offered to donate some birds to get the flock started. I'm working up a proposal for the White House Poultry Yard: Dominiques, the first American breed, should be included. Guineafowl, for meat and eggs and as pest control. Traditional Bronze or Narragansett turkeys, such as the one Tad Lincoln kept as a pet in 1863, Jack, Cayuga Ducks and Gray Geese. This is an idea whose time has come.