Michelle breaks ground on White House veggie garden

March 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm 2 comments

We hope she flexes those biceps for this one. It’s official. Groundbreaking on the South Lawn veggie garden begins tomorrow, March 20, according to a White House Press release: “The First Lady will host the groundbreaking of the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn…She will be joined by students from Bancroft Elementary, who will be participating in the project from groundbreaking on Friday, to planting in the coming weeks and harvesting later this year.”

And everyone in the family will pull weeds, the First Lady said.

The Obamas’ garden will have 55 varieties of vegetables grown from organic seedlings started at the Executive Mansion’s greenhouses. The First Family will grow cilantro, tomatilloes and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. And a patch of berries for desserts. Herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter who is a beekeeper will tend two hives for honey. Total cost for the seeds, mulch, etc., is $200, according to The New York Times.

The plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost, crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay, lime and green sand. Ladybugs and praying mantises will help control harmful bugs.

Overseeing it all will be Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef and local food advocate who prepared healthful meals for the Obama family in Chicago.

Michelle explained it all to Oprah: “We want to use [the garden] as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet. You know, the tomato that’s from your garden tastes very different from one that isn’t.”

First Lady, First Farmer. We dig.

Entry filed under: Politics/ Policy, Sustainable Food.

UNC serving local, grass-fed beef “Green Central” cultivates sustainable farms, energy & economic development

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Grass Fed Beef  |  March 21, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I admire her for her effort, but will she actually do any of the gardening?

  • 2. sustainablegrub  |  March 26, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Probably not, she kinda has her hands full as First Lady. The point is that the White House is giving high visibility to the values of locally grown, fresh, real food and involving local school children in the process.


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