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Bees, Butterflies and Broccoli at the White House Kitchen Garden Harvest

In April, the First Lady invited students representing the ten Let’s Move! programs to participate in the White House Kitchen Garden Planting, and yesterday, each of the programs were invited back to join the summer garden harvest. 

Due to rain, the event was moved inside to the East Room, where participants prepared a tasty and healthy meal using produce that was harvested from the Kitchen Garden that morning.

The students and First Lady prepared their fresh garden meal together, mixing seasonal veggies, like broccoli, peas, and kohlrabi, into a delicious lunch along with grilled honey chicken and noodles. Check out the full recipe so you can try it at home!

After the dish was prepared, the students sat down to enjoy it with the First Lady. 

First Lady Michelle Obama and students from across the country who participate in the ten "Let’s Move!" sub-initiative programs, eat the food they have prepared during a White House Kitchen Garden harvest event in the East Room of the White House, June 3, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

The event also highlighted the important role of pollinators in the healthy food that we grow and consume. Last year, Mrs. Obama planted a pollinator garden next to the White House Kitchen Garden to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators as part of Administration efforts to promote pollinator health. Pollinators play a critical role in supporting agricultural production, and they are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we take. Because pollinators are facing disturbing signs of decline from a variety of causes, important efforts are underway to support pollinator health and habitat.

One such effort was launched yesterday by the National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN), a new established unprecedented collaboration of national, regional, conservation and gardening groups. The NPGN launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of pollinators. Learn more about the challenge and how you join in by planting your own pollinator garden!  

In addition, earlier this year, W. Atlee Burpee & Co. donated one million pollinator seed packets to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior to encourage people to plant pollinator gardens in communities across the country. Nearly 30,000 of these seed packets were distributed to families at this year’s Easter Egg Roll, and each student that participated in the garden harvest took home a packet to plan their own pollinator garden. They also received a jar of White House honey from the White House beehive on the South Lawn.

Following the event, the students had the opportunity to head outside to walk through the White House Kitchen Garden and check out the beehive. 

Parents, staff and students who participated in the "Let’s Move!" sub-initiative programs, take a tour of the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Grounds of the White House, June 3, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Since launching in 2010, ten programs have begun as part of Let’s Move!. These programs were launched in collaboration with federal agencies, non-profits, and businesses to align with the overall goals of Let’s Move! and provide opportunities for kids and families to lead a healthier lives.

To find out more about Let’s Move! activities in your community or to sign up, check out our interactive map.