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posted April 13, 2009

Rodale Institute’s Compost powers USDA’s organic People’s Garden (despite Chemical Ag’s concerns)

compostdeliveryWASHINGTON, D.C. – About the time that Chemical Ag spokespeople were chiding Michelle Obama for promoting home-grown organic food with her White House garden, compost from the Rodale Institute farm was landing on a new organic garden right in front of U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.

Since he jackhammered an asphalt walkway just off the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in front the USDA’s Whitten building, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has taken a personal interest in developing the new People’s Garden.

Delivering the compost was Jeff Moyer, farm director for Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA. “Compost is a big part of what makes organic farming work so well,” he said. “We’re happy to donate a truckload of high-quality compost to biologically jump-start this welcome change in the USDA’s front lawn. The Secretary wanted the garden to be certified organic, so all the inputs-including compost-need to conform to the National Organic Program standards.” Moyer chairs the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board, which provides input from the organic sector to the department’s organic program.

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