Mrs. Obama's Green Thumb

The first lady starts work on White House organic garden today
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The first lady starts work on White House organic garden today

Food obsessions have always been part of presidential lore: Reagan loved jellybeans, Eisenhower loved prune whip (wha?), Garfield was fond of squirrel (double wha?), and Clinton loved the Big Mac.

Now, our latest Commander-and-chief will indulge his modern, healthier palate—with organic vegetables. Today, Michelle Obama begins work on a 1,100-square-foot presidential organic vegetable garden, something missing from the White House Lawn since the days of Roosevelt and the victory garden. And yes, before you ask, they will grow arugula.

Kale, spinach, romance lettuce, carrots, shell peas, honey hives, a berry patch, onions and a range of spices all join the once-controversial arugula as part of the large garden.

In addition to providing fresh, local produce for many a White House formal dinner, Mrs. Obama said the garden’s key role will be in showing children the benefits of eating healthy, locally-grown food.

Children from a local elementary school will help with the digging, planting, and maintenance of the garden and its 55 different varieties of vegetables. 

In a recent New York Times article, the first lady commented on the importance of eating right.

“My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and in turn, begin to educate our communities,” she said. 

Of course, you can't have a great garden without pulling a few weeds. According to Mrs. Obama everyone will share weed-pulling duty—even the president. 

I'd imagine it probably beats having to go through another round of economic stimulus deliberations.


Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden (Marian Burros- The New York Times)

--Matt Draper