s-scareattheview-012309 'First garden' idea wins national contest

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SCARBOROUGH — Hungry for change? Try growing a vegetable garden.
That’s the message many online voters sent President Barack Obama last week when they selected Roger Doiron’s suggestion to establish a White House vegetable garden as the grand prize-winner in a national online contest.
Scarborough resident Doiron, director of Kitchen Gardeners International, created his “Eat the View” initiative last February as a way to inspire people to start gardening for economic, personal and environmental health.
If the first family could be persuaded to raise vegetables on their 18-acre lawn, he reasoned, their example might inspire others to do the same, albeit on a smaller scale.
Doiron’s idea was one of more than 4,000 submitted to the OnDayOne.org
Web site sponsored by the Better World Campaign. One of 81 finalists,
“Eat the View” received 3,994 of nearly 70,000 votes to earn the top
Doiron said Wednesday he feels the vote reflects people’s belief that his recommendation is practical, attainable and contagious.
“I was encouraged by the results,” he said. “To some it may seem quite small and inconsequential, but small actions have the power to speak very loudly.”
As the winning idea, “Eat the View” has been delivered to the Obama administration, along with eight of the other top vote-getters.
Now Doiron gearing up for what he called “another phase of the campaign.”
“We’re trying to get the garden announced in the first 100 days,” he said.
And, with spring not far away in Washington, D.C., Doiron knows there isn’t a lot of time.
He said he’s made contact with several staffers in first lady Michelle Obama’s office and plans to visit the country’s capital in the next few weeks to meet with people who can “push the idea a bit.” He is also continuing the campaign with an online petition at EattheView.org and a new presence on Facebook.com.
“The Obamas are going to need to think about how to leverage the resources of the American people to make the changes they’d like to see,” Doiron said. “It’s about getting people to make these changes in their own lives, their own communities.”

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.