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by Slow Food USA intern Regina Fitzsimmons

Last week, Prince Philip dined on Cambridge Favourite strawberries to celebrate his 88th birthday. But he didn’t eat just any strawberries—these were picked fresh, from just outside the Palace doors.

The Queen’s new garden harks back to Britain’s 1939 “Dig for Victory” campaign and Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1943 “Victory Garden.” By setting an example of growing food, the White House and Palace encouraged families to start their own gardens and use all available land for produce production—from golf courses to the Tower of London moat!

Today Queen Elizabeth II and Michelle Obama are bringing fresh vegetables back to the White House and Palace lawns, encouraging local economic-growth as well as eating healthy foods.
The Queen is also encouraging the preservation of endangered foods by growing out some royal varieties: word has it that the French bean Blue Queen and the dwarf French bean Royal Red have already been planted in her garden. And there are more endangered varieties soon to go into the ground: the Northern Queen lettuce and the Golden Queen, the Queen of Hearts and the White Queen tomatoes! These heirlooms were provided by Garden Organic, the UK’s leading organic growing charity organization.

We applaud the Queen’s attention to endangered varieties, and hope that our First Lady will take a cue from her by adding, say, some Ark of Taste varieties to the White House patch.

Check out this Daily Mail article to see a photograph of the Queen’s tomatoes, runner beans, and potatoes!

For a refresher about Michelle Obama’s White House Gardens, visit our previous blog post.