Tuesday, March 31, 2009

White House News: Kitchen Garden Dug on South Lawn

The Kitchen Garden Returns to the White House

Last week First Lady Michelle Obama organized a digging party at the White House--the first step in planting a kitchen garden. A crew of twenty-six enthusiastic school children helped dig up sod so that crops such as spinach, broccoli, raspberries, and various herbs can be planted on the South Lawn. The garden's harvest will not only help feed the first family and White House guests, but also visitors to the nearby soup kitchen, Miriam's Kitchen. Not since Eleanor Roosevelt lived in the White House has a kitchen garden contributed to the daily meals of the first family.

In an interview with the New York Times, Mrs. Obama stated her purpose in planting the garden, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

Young people can learn more about the delicious history of White House kitchen gardens by reading Stephanie Loer's essay "White House Colonial Kitchen Gardens" in the NCBLA's art and literature anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. Our White House is available in libraries and bookstores throughout the country.

Also be sure to read A Taste of the Past: White House Kitchens, Menus, and Recipes
by Mary Brigid Barrett, which is available exclusively on ourwhitehouse.org. A Taste of the Past provides a tasty sampler of White House kitchen stories, recipes, menus, and activities for young people. You can discover what Abraham Lincoln ate at his Inaugural Luncheon and decide whether you might be tempted by President Eisenhower's personal recipe for Green Turtle Soup. (Squeamish minds BEWARE! The recipe begins, "Cut off the head from a live green turtle and drain the blood.")

For more information about Mrs. Obama's ground-breaking ceremony for the garden, visit "Ground is broken for White House 'kitchen garden'."

To learn more about Our White House, visit ourwhitehouse.org.

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