With the arrival of spring, First Lady Michelle Obama and elementary students from local DC public schools recently got to work planting the White House garden with broccoli, peas, beets, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, blueberries, and other vegetables and herbs.
The 4th and 5th graders that came to help prepare the South Lawn kitchen garden were encouraged by the First Lady to tell their families that they were ready to try new vegetables at home. “That’s going to be the fun part—trying some new things,” the First Lady explained. “Maybe if you haven’t had leeks, you’ll try some leeks. . . Go home and get your parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles to cook some vegetables to make sure you guys are trying new things.”
The 1,500-square-foot organic garden is a part of a program called “Let’s Move” to fight childhood obesity and get kids to eat healthier. As the first edible garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1940s “victory garden,” it’s already produced more than 2,000 pounds of food since 2009. The fresh vegetables are used in meals for the presidential family, White House guests and a nearby soup kitchen. Michelle Obama will publish a book about her signature gardening and healthy living project in spring 2012.