WASHINGTON, April 5, 2013 – White House residents and workers rediscovered their green thumbs yesterday – and just in time for spring – when First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the fifth annual planting of the White House Kitchen Garden. About thirty elementary school students from across the nation joined Mrs. Obama for a day that started cool but turned bright and sunny just as the group got their plants into the ground.

“You're eating your vegetables?” Mrs. Obama asked a giggling audience right before the planting began. The First Lady said each of the six schools represented had been selected “because you are doing such wonderful things to implement the new school nutrition standards at your school.”

The nutrition emphasis is no accident – the fruit and vegetable garden is just a small component of Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative, which aims to “solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation,” according to a press release.

Sam Kass, White House chef and the new executive director of the campaign, was also on hand for the planting. He said the day’s activities were part of a larger effort to teach students “where (fruit and vegetables) come from and how they grow.”

Mrs. Obama herself lent her hand to the bread and club wheat planting beds – newcomers this year to the garden – and moved onto spinach before the afternoon was out. Students also worked on arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, chervil, endive, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onion, shallots, spinach, Swiss chard and tatsoi.


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