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White House Garden Activist Calls for National Garden Strategy.

Viral Video Offers Roadmap to Help the Country's Garden Movement Grow

SCARBOROUGH, Maine, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Maine-based garden advocate, Roger Doiron, has a way of stirring the pot when it comes to the nation's food. Many credit him with having helped inspire First Lady Michelle Obama to plant her White House kitchen garden via a year-long social media campaign he led during the last presidential campaign. Using viral images and videos, Doiron's campaign garnered over 110,000 petition signatures, won the United Nations Foundation's "On Day One" contest for the best idea for President Obama to pursue upon taking office, and attracted broad international media attention. In a newly released TEDx video, Doiron looks beyond the success of the White House garden to what needs to be done next to help the country's food garden movement grow.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111026/CG93961)

"Although a kitchen garden revolution has started, we're still scratching at the surface of what gardens can do and will need to do in an increasingly hot, crowded and malnourished world," says Doiron who is Founding Director of the nonprofit Kitchen Gardeners International. Citing statistics about obesity, hunger, projected population growth and peak oil production, Doiron makes a strong case for investing more heavily in food garden education and promotion as part of the solution to the world's health, economic and environmental challenges.

Among his proposals are the following:

- Creating a long-term National Food Garden Strategy designed to increase the number of new food gardens and their productivity. Doiron cites the success of the Victory Garden movement of the last century which culminated in gardens producing 40% of the nation's fresh produce. (video still 1)

- Financing this new strategy via the next Farm Bill by reallocating taxpayer dollars away from commodity crops subsidies and reinvesting them in community-based food production. (video stills 2 and 3)

- Using the federal tax code to promote gardening through a $1000/household garden stimulus package. (video stills: 3, 4, 5)

- Updating town and city codes and neighborhood association bylaws to allow people to grow food in front yards and in vacant urban spaces (video still 6)

- Encouraging garden entrepreneurship through the passage of local food sovereignty laws like the ones passed in several Maine towns this past year. (video still 7)

- Brainstorming new ideas to encourage more men to join the country's kitchen garden movement, a movement that is currently nearly 75% female. (video stills 8, 9)

- Developing new local networks or "suburban granges" capable of bringing gardeners together online and off. (video stills 10)

Doiron concludes his presentation by urging more people to grow their own "subversive plots" citing gardening's ability to redistribute power away from the corporations that are currently putting food on America's tables and back into the hands of the people. "Gardening is a sort of healthy gateway drug to other forms of food freedom." says Doiron. "It's not long after planting a garden that people become interested in home cooking, preserving food and locating their local farmers' market."

Watch the 18 minute TEDx video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezuz_-eZTMI

View the presentation slides here: http://portal.sliderocket.com/KGI/A-Subversive-Plot

View a presentation of Doiron's 2008-2009 White Garden social media campaign here: http://portal.sliderocket.com/KGI/Eat-the-View-The-Story-of-the-White-House-Garden

Media Contact: Roger Doiron, Kitchen Gardeners International, (207) 956-0606, roger@kitchengardeners.org

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SOURCE Kitchen Gardeners International
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Date:Oct 26, 2011
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