By Tanya Steel Yes, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. has the actual Star Spangled Banner. Yes, it has Dorothy’s ruby slippers. Yes, it even has Julia Child’s kitchen, down to the drawer knob. But now it also has a Victory Garden, which is doubling as an herbaceous-smelling site for a summer-long program of talks, tastes, and tours. “The inspiration for Food in the Garden grew out of our desire to extend the themes and reach of the Food exhibition,” says curator Paula Johnson. “We’re focusing on ‘Growing Local,’ and we’ve had terrific panels on heirlooms (old, new, local, global) and foraging. Essentially, the garden series expands our timeframe to the present, and invites a new audience to share in the conversations.” Each Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., food and garden lovers can learn from, and interact with, experts on various topics: Tomorrow, August 1, focuses on the importance of community and schoolyard gardens, and how they can be an agent of change and activism. Next Thursday, August 8, you can get dirty, as the focus shifts to soil, fertilizers, and composting. On August 15, the museum will celebrate Julia Child’s 101st birthday with a showing of “Julie & Julia.” Sponsored by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts and DuPont Pioneer, tickets are a very good value–$20, and include two cocktails plus fresh-from-the-garden nibbles.