First Lady Hungry for Farmer's Market

Washington, D.C. residents divided over rush-hour closure

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Sep 10, 2009  |  Updated 10:45 AM PDT
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First Lady Michelle Obama may be able to pick fresh vegetables in her own back yard, but also wants a farmer's market nearby.

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In the Bay Area, there are few things more beloved than fresh produce from local farmers -- except for maybe the Obamas.

So First Lady Michelle Obama can probably count on the support of local foodies in her quest to get a farmer's market started a little closer to the White House.

The Obamas started a garden on the lawns of the presidential palace, making the dreams of local Slow Food advocates like Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters come true.

However, the proposed market would close a block of Vermont Street in downtown D.C. during rush hour once a week.

And as San Franciscans know, getting people out of their cars tends to make the discourse go from civil to toxic quickly.

Pennsylvania Avenue, which runs directly in front of the White House, is already closed to vehicle traffic, but as local blog DCist points out, the secret service might object.

After all, you wouldn't want healthcare reform detractors lobbing organic, heirloom tomatoes over the White House fence.

Jackson West wonders if the Obamas shouldn't be working harder to open farmers markets in under served neighborhood "food deserts" around D.C.

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