The Fruits of Michelle Obama's Labor |

The Fruits of Michelle Obama's Labor

Michelle Obama drew plenty of press when she broke White House ground on a “victory garden,” in what is now her family’s backyard, this spring. Together with a class of local fifth graders, the First Lady planted dozens of varieties of fruits and vegetables—while talking with her helpers about the importance of proper nutrition.

But the garden wasn’t just a symbolic act or a publicity ploy—this productive land is now feeding the Obamas, their guests, and more. And at over 1100 square feet, it yields plenty to go around. A few months after the first seeds were planted, White House staff are now harvesting the late spring haul: rhubarb, fennel, several lettuces, and more. Much of that bounty went straight to the presidential kitchen, served in the President’s dinner with advisers that night, as the Washington Post reports.

Beyond the White House, however, others will be able to taste the fruits of the First Lady’s labor. Rhubarb was donated to local nonprofit Miriam’s Kitchen, providing free meals to area homeless. And other produce has been used in meals at the Navy Mess, one of the cafeterias for lower-level administration officials.

Planting a vegetable garden is one of the easiest ways to ensure high-quality fresh produce, free of preservatives or chemicals, at minimal cost. But breaking ground is only half the battle; the second part comes in taking advantage of the garden harvest. At the White House, the First Lady and others are following through.

Photo from Charles Dharapak at the Associated Press.


chefhealy • 06/22/2009
I think some of the credit for this idea goes to Alice Waters who suggested it while on 60 minutes.
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