Giving the White House a Green Thumb

| 3/23/2009 11:58:13 AM


On Friday, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the very few reporters on the scene at the groundbreaking of First Lady Michelle Obama’s new "victory garden." On site were 26 fifth graders from Washington's Bancroft Elementary who helped the First Lady dig up the L-shaped plot and prepare the soil for planting.

The garden, the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt’s during WWII, came partially in response to pleas that the White House promote locally grown food. Mrs. Obama said the project would give the First Family access to healthy fruits and vegetables and educate the students and the country on the importance of a healthy diet.

"What I found with my girls is that they like vegetables more if they taste good," Mrs. Obama says, according to pool reports. "Especially if they were involved in planting it and picking it, they were more curious about giving it a try."

The new garden is all organic and includes a variety of perennial herbs including sorrel, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, marjoram, chives, chamomile, garlic chives and anise hyssop with mint growing in a separate container. There are also a few annual herbs: dill, cilantro and parsley in addition to the many vegetables and even some edible flowers including nasturtium and marigolds, which help keep bugs away.