“All Right, Let’s Plant!”: The Fourth Annual WH Kitchen Garden Planting
First Lady Michelle Obama gives seeds to girls from Girl Scout Troop 60325 in Fairport, N.Y., as she joins students for the spring White House Kitchen Garden planting on the South Grounds, March 26, 2012.
Radishes generally aren’t the top request among kids for an after-school snack. It’s probably safe to say they probably don’t break into the top 10. Or 200.
But there’s something about growing it yourself that creates a special connection.
“A lot of times when you grow your own vegetables and fruits, they taste really good. They taste better than a lot of stuff you’ll get in a grocery store -- trust me. My kids have done it. They’re not big fans of all vegetables, but if they help to work on it they’re much more excited about trying it out,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in remarks kicking off the fourth planting of the White House Kitchen Garden.
Schoolchildren from across the country joined the First Lady in the garden on Monday for a sunny afternoon of spring planting on the South Grounds. “You guys wrote some really nice letters telling us about stories of the work that you're doing in your schools, in your communities,” the First Lady said. “Your letters were so wonderful, I thought, why not come and see me at the White House and help me plant my garden? And you made it!”
The garden helpers included students from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Iowa, and Girl Scout Troop 60325 from New York.
“It would take us forever to plant this garden if we didn’t have your help, so it’s really special to have you all here,” said Mrs. Obama, who was joined by Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives and assistant White House Chef Sam Kass, White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, who use the produce for any number of events, including the U.K. State Dinner earlier this month.
The remaining bounty from the first working vegetable garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden in the 1940s will go to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local organization that serves the homeless. Some 500 pounds of veggies have been donated each fall since the garden’s inception in 2009 and this year's crop will include the potatoes, spinach, lettuce, radishes, chard, rapini, carrots, bok choy, broccoli, onions and mustard greens that were planted yesterday.
“The garden is a good way to start the conversation, because vegetables and fruits are a big part of a healthy diet.” And yesterday the students became a big part of the First Lady’s efforts to get people moving toward healthier lifestyles.