March 20, 2009

Michelle Obama's new project: a WH garden

Posted: 09:07 AM ET


By Jane Black/Washington Post Staff Writer

For more than a decade, food activists have rallied, cajoled, even pleaded for a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. Now they're finally going to get it.

Today, first lady Michelle Obama will host a groundbreaking for a White House kitchen garden on the South Lawn. She will be joined by students from Bancroft Elementary in Northwest Washington, , whose participation in the project will continue past today, as they help with planting in the coming weeks and harvesting later this year.

The 1,100-square-foot garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables, including peppers, spinach and, yes, arugula. (The selection is a wish list put together by White House chefs.) There will also be berries, herbs and two hives for honey that will be tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The chefs will use the produce to feed the first family, as well as for state dinners and other official events.

The White House will use organic seedlings, as well as organic fertilizers and organic insect repellents. The garden will be near the tennis courts and be visible to passersby on the street. The whole Obama family will be involved in tending the garden, White House spokeswoman Katie McCormick Lelyveld said.


Filed under: Michelle Obama

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william   March 20th, 2009 10:37 am ET

OH a Victory garden like we had during World War 11 , exciting for the 2 little girls to watch things grow !..

Terry, TX   March 20th, 2009 10:53 am ET

Give me a break ...a garden is breaking news...
I guess her overtures to the military families have blown up in her face... when she found out her husband was trying to save money over the backs of wounded soldiers by making them responsible for their medical care once their discharged. Thank God this information got out...not by CNN... and people became furious...and the White House has been forced to drop this heinous idea off the table.

hope   March 20th, 2009 11:17 am ET

I hope they dont grow watermelons int hat garden, after that nasty photoshopped thing was passed around it would seem omniscent.

AL   March 20th, 2009 12:10 pm ET

I can't understand how MRS. MICHELLE OBAMA can think she is helping our military families if she and the PRESIDENT still refuse to talk to AMERICA about " USFSPA ". Our MILITARY RETIREES are losing their retirement pay each and every month just to pay ( ALIMONY ) to exspouses who are ( REMARRIED ).I would think that MRS. OBAMA would be the firstt one to speak out against " USFSPA ",and this very bad FEDERAL LAW.The smell of COVER-UP is getting worse and worse.!!!!!! I don't even hear LARRY KING saying anything.Whats he so afraid of.????????????

John   March 20th, 2009 3:33 pm ET

What an excellent idea! I'm guessing Mrs. Obama has a web site where she can post the progress of the garden. An even better idea to allow local school children participate. Maybe they will even be allowed to bring something home from the garden.

As for the issue of Military Benefits, that's an entirely different story and subject for discussion. I am a Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran and naturally have a great interest in such things. I suspect that the people drafting up the suggestion to have wounded veterans buy their own insurance were not instigated into doing this by the President. I don't have any of the facts regarding this proposed law but I wonder if is really all it is said to be. At any rate Mr. President, if you are reading, I would ask you not to consider such ideas.

janette tx   March 20th, 2009 4:06 pm ET

Retirees have been paying for their own insurances
for quite a few years now.What does it have to do

janette tx   March 20th, 2009 4:09 pm ET

(to finish)What has that have to do with a garden project?

Justice for The Righteous   March 20th, 2009 5:49 pm ET

She shoud be out in Afghaanistan to help them to grow
vegetables. That will be breaking news.....

In the OC   March 20th, 2009 6:03 pm ET

Michelle, go speak with the tent cities and with growing number of Americans homeless about fresh veggies.

Joyce   March 20th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Good for you Ms Michelle. We Canadians love you and your lovely family. Don't listen to those blowhards who love to complain and find fault with everything good.

Deborah Stonehouse   March 20th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

I love this idea. I am planting a garden to get exercise and cut costs. Also, what's wrong with letting kids know where food comes from and how to harvest and cook it? We are a nation of fat, unhealthy people. We should teach our kids better ways to live not to mention how much it takes to sustain life. Might just cut down on waste, violence and overindulgence.

Adam   March 20th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

We spend millions for the upkeep of the White House and the GRounds and these pumpkins want to tear it up and put in a garden? RUN THEM OUT OF TOWN!

Fran, NYC   March 20th, 2009 9:49 pm ET


You're a breath of fresh air, you're so real and we're so happy to have you as the First Lady of the United States of America. You will be an inspiration to us all for the next eight years and beyond.

Fran, NYC   March 20th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

Justice.......You don't sound very Righteous

Amy   March 20th, 2009 10:05 pm ET

AllRight For the Obamas. We will se so many New Things in the Next Generation (70 Years).

I believe That The Opportunity Given to Mr Obama will change The US History every singlre day.
These People are Real and Normal Just like me. I feel That they are Family already.

Mari Hurt   March 21st, 2009 12:17 am ET

Super! Michelle Obama has brought reality to the White House. I can't wait to hear that visitors to the WH will be served fresh veggies grown in the White House Kitchen Garden!!!!

janette tx   March 21st, 2009 2:13 am ET

I believe the kitchen staff was all for the idea of fresh picked herbs
it's educational as well.people like Adam are really at a lost
for something to say .Sounds like a grade school drop out.

gardner   March 21st, 2009 3:28 pm ET

Who cares. It will not feed the hungry just those in the White House.

bj abrams   March 21st, 2009 9:13 pm ET

During tough economic times like these everyone who has access to a piece of dirt should grow some food, learn to can and process foods. We should also grow our own vegetables because of all the illnesses some foods are causing if we have access to a piece of dirt. It's great our First Lady id trying to lead the way on this home grown project.

kmcgary   March 22nd, 2009 9:52 am ET

I don't know why it's such a big deal. who cares if the White House has a garden. There are much more important things the media should be reporting on, like how some of our liberties are being squashed and how this country is being changed from a capitalist country to a socialist country. There are some people who truly need the help of the government, but for the government to take over makes me sick. If this is the change you want, go to one of those so called great socialist countries like Cuba or Venezuela and see how much you like it. People just complain anymore and don't try to fix or suggest how to overcome problems. I know several people who worked for the govt for 30 years and not one of them wants the government controlling their lives. Change does not always mean for the good.

Elle Bennett   March 22nd, 2009 1:28 pm ET

I watched it on TV and it looked like she had never picked up a shovel in her life. Maybe Dolly Parton should go help her out.

Justice for The Righteous   March 24th, 2009 4:01 pm ET

@ Fran, NYC
The poor and underpriviledged will always be amongst us.
We are blessed to be a blessings to others. If there is great power and multi talents given, share it with others. If Mrs Obama has
learn a gift of planting vegetables, why it is wrong to share it with
our neigbors and give them an increased in their livelihood.
It is a righteous deeds that comes from a heart of generosity.

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