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Obamas to Plant White House Garden Today

Today is the day that Alice Waters and other Slow Food supporters have been waiting for: the Obamas will begin planting a garden on the White House lawn, the first such victory garden to be created since the one Eleanor Roosevelt planted during World War II.

The garden, which will be overseen by Sam Kass, the Obamas' former private chef from Chicago, will provide food for the first family's meals and formal dinners. White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford will write menus based on what's available in the garden.According to First Lady Michelle Obama, the biggest reason for growing a garden is to educate children about the benefits of growing fresh produce locally. She said:

There’s nothing really cooler than coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work.

The first lady, who will dig up soil for the 1,100-square-foot plot of land with fifth graders from a local elementary school, has stressed the significance of healthful eating ever since entering the White House. Last month, she opened up the White House kitchen for a press tour, and recently spoke about the importance of fresh, local eating.

Advocates of farm-to-table eating have been campaigning for a White House edible garden for months now, and there is little doubt that many eat-local proponents consider this to be a huge step in the right direction. To see what fruits and vegetables will be in the White House garden,


  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Black kale
  • Red romaine
  • Green oak leaf
  • Butterhead lettuce
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos
  • Hot peppers
  • Berries
  • Thai basil
  • Bees, for honey

What do you think of the project? What would you plant if you were Michelle Obama?

Join The Conversation
kiwigeek kiwigeek 8 years
Potatoes? They're just too easy to grow! Cherry tomatoes, so much better than regular tomatoes... how about some herbs?
Munkeyhed Munkeyhed 8 years
I'm planting my 1st garden this year. Picked up seeds today for tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet peas & carrots (so far). Wish me luck!
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
Since when are bees classified as fruits or vegetables? And how does one plant them?
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
It looks as though they've planted for the current seasonal weather in the east. Lettuce, spinach, arugula, some herbs and other greens thrive in the cool, wet Spring weather. It's much too early for beans, potatoes, tomatoes for us Easteners.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm glad they're planting a garden, but I'm also surprised at the lack of variety in it...looks like a lot of greens and not much else (not that there's anything wrong with that). We have part of my inlaws' farm (20 acres) that we grow a garden on and we always grow tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, jalapenos, green peppers, carrots, corn, cantaloupe, butter lettuce and romaine, cabbage, and sometimes pumpkins. Seriously, who doesn't plant zucchini and beans? You almost have to TRY to get them not to grow...they always take off like crazy in our garden. I would LOVE to get some heirloom tomatoes. I may have to try to grow some this year along with my other ones.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
Hooray for gardens - mine was planted on March 7 and it's doing fine with some new herbs - choc mint and lemon thyme - new for me anyway. Yes, lots of other goodies and those luscious heirloom maters.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
Corn, tomatoes and beans are the easiest to grow (tho i suck at growing beans). And squash? No summer squash like zucchini?? I hope they pick more veggies and herbs than that.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Taadie Taadie 8 years
I wonder if this is the complete list or just the beginning. Sara, I agree, I wonder why they arent growing more herbs. And I wonder if they could grow potatoes?
RMF587 RMF587 8 years
Heirloom tomatoes!
michlny michlny 8 years
No Broccoli :( ??
Sara-Rose Sara-Rose 8 years
Why aren't they growing tomatoes, green beans, corn, bell peppers, cucumbers, more herbs? These are easy things to grow and fundamental in a lot of cooking. Oh well, I'm not their gardener. I'm itching to geth gardening too!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i love that they are doing this - and i can't wait to hear about how the community gets involved. i think that it's interesting that their old private chef is going to be involved but i guess that's just a way for him to stay 'in' with the family right?
kia kia 8 years
I love the Michelle. This is a sweet action. It will be nice to see if her and the girls work in the garden through the spring and summer.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Thanks for the info caterpillargirl
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
alice waters is a hack, an elitist misguided misinformed HACK. The white house has been buying local and using organic produce for YEARS, and miss waters thinks she alone brought this idea to the Obamas (who she tried to contact for ever and it wasnt untill she raised 800,000 to his campaign did she get noticed)
Dana-Ann Dana-Ann 8 years
I love this! I'm a big proponent of eating locally and growing your own food. Very exciting.
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