Royal Vegetable Garden Takes Root

Queen Elizabeth has added a vegetable patch to Buckingham Palace's gardens.

ByLAMA HASAN via logo
June 14, 2009, 10:48 AM

LONDON, June 14, 2009— -- Going green -- eating and living organically by producing your own vegetables -- is a growing trend.

Pictures showing first lady Michelle Obama planting herbs and seeds with elementary school kids at the White House lawn were shown around the world earlier this year, inspiring people to do the same.

This idea has rippled across the Atlantic to this side of the pond. Her Majesty the Queen is the latest person to jump on the green bandwagon by growing her own organic vegetables.

It's been decades since the palace has had a vegetable patch. During World War I, turnips grew among the exotic plants and flowers.

The Royal may also be taking a leaf out of Prince Charles' book; the queen's son has been an avid organic farmer since the 1980s, even producing his own brand of cookies and hand-cooked vegetable chips.

Now it's the queen's turn.

Located at the back of the 40-acre garden at Buckingham Palace, the vegetable plot is called the Yard Bed.

While it is an experiment at the moment, head gardener Claire Midgley told the BBC, "We could see winter vegetables growing, too. It'll probably be back to summer bedding, which is what it's usually used for, this area of the bed, and this was for one season an experiment. And if it continues I'm sure we'll be told, if it's a success then, yes we'll do it again, but this bed is usually used for summer and winter bedding.''

Midgley said the idea is to promote gardening and inspire people to start growing their own vegetables.

''We're trying to promote growing your own food, vegetables, getting families and children involved, getting their hands dirty to create and grow food so that they can have a meal,"she said. "It's a growing movement throughout the country and we're just hoping to encourage that.''

'Blue Queen' Beah Amongs Veggies Planted

The new garden patch will now be home to a variety of vegetables, including onions, leeks, sweet corn, carrots, and a royal garden would not be complete without strawberries and a type of bean called the "Blue Queen."

As Midgley explains, these vegetables will be served at the Royal table.

''We send all of the vegetables to the kitchens, and we've taken some strawberries, which were in a vase up to the kitchens this week, and then they'll be going to the kitchens. Who will eat them, I don't know,'' she said.

No chemicals will be used, and like the rest of the palace's garden, this patch will be watered from the Palace borehole, a type of watering well.

Lucky guests at the annual summer garden parties will now not only get up close and personal with Queen Elizabeth, they'll also get to see how her organic garden grows.