Photo: Samantha Appleton/White House
It’s harvest time at the White House. Earlier this spring, First Lady Michelle Obama and a team of young gardeners planted tons of fruits, veggies, and flowers in a plot on the White House grounds. This organic kitchen garden is now providing a serious haul of healthy eats. More than 90 pounds of produce has been harvested from this garden so far, according to the White House blog. Some of it has been used in the White House kitchen, but most has gone to nearby soup kitchens that serve the needy.
Yesterday, Wednesday, June 17, the fifth-grade garden planters from local Bancroft Elementary got to enjoy some of the benefits of their labor. The students harvested lettuce and sugar snap peas from the White House garden. Then with an assist from the first lady, they used those ingredients to whip up salads for lunch. Also, the student gardeners helped prepare the rest of the lunch as well, which included baked chicken, brown rice, and cupcakes with fresh berries on top.
Mrs. Obama says the organic garden is one of the first White House projects she wanted to complete: “… if it’s fresh and grown locally, it’s probably going to taste better. That’s what I learned. And that’s how I’ve been able to get my children to try different things, and in particular fruits and vegetables. By making this small change in our family’s diet and adding more fresh produce for my family, Barack, the girls, me, we all started to notice over a very short period of time that we felt much better and we had more energy, right? And so I wanted to share this little piece of experience that I had with the rest of the nation…”
“…I also thought that this would be a fun and interesting way to talk to kids about healthy eating and nutrition. The President and Congress are going to begin to address health care reform, and these issues of nutrition and wellness and preventative care is going to be the focus of a lot of conversation coming up in the weeks and months to come. And these are issues that I care deeply about, especially when they affect America’s children.”