From the White House to Our House: The Story of an Honors College Vegetable Garden

By Lund, Michael; Orth, Geoffrey | Honors in Practice, Annual 2010 | Go to article overview

From the White House to Our House: The Story of an Honors College Vegetable Garden


Lund, Michael, Orth, Geoffrey, Honors in Practice


When Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced in December 2008 his "Renew Virginia" initiative for the Commonwealth, state agencies responded with their own programs "promoting renewable energy, creating green jobs, and encouraging preservation of the environment." At Longwood University in Farmville, a state-assisted co-educational comprehensive institution, the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars proposed a rooftop vegetable garden on its newly renovated honors residence hall to address these issues. The university's signature "Citizen Leader" program would be enhanced by a working garden that demonstrates to those on campus and in the larger community the advantages of organic farming, composting, rain water usage, and other important sustainability principles. it would also allow hands-on learning consistent with honors pedagogy. Putting the garden on top of a building would provide exciting promotional material and stress the application of such programs even in urban environments. What was first viewed as a setback--the university's initial rejection of the plan--led to the discovery of a compelling piece of history that made the garden project distinctive. Furthermore, this discovery institutionalized an example of the "place as text" focus in honors programs throughout the country.

To give added strength to their initial proposal, the honors staff linked their effort to President and Michelle Obama's decision to establish the first vegetable garden on the White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt's World War ii Victory Garden of 1943. The connection to this presidential initiative and to history was particularly important to the mission of Longwood's Honors College for Citizen Leadership, a program designed to meet the needs of academically gifted undergraduate students by offering challenging courses that enable them to expand their intellectual horizons. in keeping with the university's mission, the honors college strives to develop citizens who use their learning to provide service to their community. This linking of citizenship and learning is the hallmark of honors at Longwood.

The unexpected and severe economic downturn of 2009, the growing awareness of the importance of preserving the environment, and the strain of rapidly increasing global populations have made many believe that a coordinated national effort like that which sustained the country during wartime is needed now. Indeed, the garden could create opportunities to highlight or discuss what may be radical differences between World War Il's sense of shared national purpose and the situation brought about by today's War on Terror, which many think is creating an unacceptable level of sacrifice from military families. Many Americans, as well as most of our students, do not have family members and friends serving in the war and are therefore even further removed from a first-hand understanding of such sacrifice. As Kristin Henderson writes in While They're at Wan The True Story of American Families on the Homefront,

   In a country of nearly three hundred million people only two and a
   half million serve in the armed forces ... A year after the Iraq
   War started, if you looked at the people who were laying down their
   lives for the country ... you found yourself looking across America
   at small rural towns, at decaying urban cores and close-in suburbs,
   past their prime, and at minority and immigrant communities....
   Virtually none of those who serve come from America's elite
   classes: business executives, politicians, academics and
   celebrities--their children do not join the military. (4)

These "children [who] do not join the military" generally attend college, and they need to consider whether the United States now has a shared national purpose. In establishing the White House Garden based on the heritage of the World War II Victory Garden, Michelle Obama made specific reference to the shared goals that the garden would represent. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

From the White House to Our House: The Story of an Honors College Vegetable Garden
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.