It’s no secret by now that the entire world needs to give more attention to planting organic produce.
What better way to show that global need than from one of the greatest nation’s leaders to present it as a free gift to another?
President Obama gave Pope Francis– as well as organic advocates– a nice gesture when he presented him with a small chest of seeds from the White House garden, which has been operating organically since 2009, his first year in office. First Lady Michelle Obama’s attempts to grow the garden led to the first planted garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1943 “victory garden.” The garden produces produce as well as honey that is often used for a White House-made beer, among other things.
The gift given to the Pope packaged fruit and vegetable seeds from the garden, and the President’s act was apparently in relation to the Pope’s recent decision to open up the gardens and a working farm at the papal summer residence to the general public. The farm provides eggs, milk, produce, and honey that are then sold in grocery stores in the Vatican area. The farm has been in use since 1929.
The box the President presented the organic goodies in came from wood taken from the oldest Catholic cathedral in the U.S., Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Approximately three pounds of mahogany from 1906 also came in the box, which had been reclaimed from old pews that the church used to make new altars for some of the church’s chapels with, the Archdiocese of Baltimore indicates.
The Pope’s acquired gift also included a donation from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, which consisted of enough seeds to produce “several tons of produce” for whatever charity the Pope decides to donate to.
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