Group queues up for iPhone 3G to promote organic farming

By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service |  Personal Tech, Apple, environment

iPhones and sustainable agriculture don't have a lot in common, but a bedraggled group of publicity-seekers and iPhone enthusiasts who want the next U.S. president to plant an organic farm on the White House lawn have connected the two as a reason to line up for Friday's iPhone 3G launch.

Led by a fresh-faced sprite called Daniel Bowman Simon -- who looks more likely to be driving his father's SUV than getting his hands dirty hoeing a row of seeds -- Waiting for Apples' mission is to encourage people to grow their own food while setting a Guinness World Record for the most time spent waiting in line to buy something.

Daniel Bowman Simon, leader of Waiting for Apples, a group promoting sustainable agriculture, stands in line outside of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store on Monday. The early queuing for the iPhone 3G, which is scheduled to go on sale at 8:00 a.m. local time Friday, is part publicity stunt, part world record line-waiting attempt, and part gadget madness.

The group also wants to promote The White House Organic Farm Project, which is taking names for a petition to inspire the next president to plant an organic farm at the White House, the official residence of the U.S. president.

A few members of Waiting for Apples have been camped out in front of New York City's flagship Apple Store on Fifth Avenue since Friday morning, fortified by stacks of organic produce that a friend is delivering to them via bicycle from the Union Square Greenmarket.

A Solar-powered generator courtesy of SolarOne, a green energy, arts and education center in New York, also is making the group's mission more comfortable. On Monday the generator was powering an iPod blasting the record "More Songs about Buildings and Food" by the Talking Heads, as a barefoot Simon and co-conspirator Heyward Gignilliat fielded questions from passers-by on a humid day under threatening thunderclouds.

"We are trying to bring interest and promotion to local and organic agriculture," Simon said in an interview, trying to explain Waiting for Apples' mission while posing for a photo with a stalk of fresh basil and an American flag.

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