First lady Michelle Obama helped break ground on a new White House organic “kitchen garden” Friday. It will be the first working garden at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a so-called “victory garden” at the height of World War II.
The idea of a presidential kitchen garden, used year-round with different seasonal crops, has been strongly promoted by advocates for organic and locally grown food. They argue that the White House garden may help set a positive example for families short on time and money, who are often tempted by cheaper, highly processed food. It will also include a range of herbs, including sage, oregano and rosemary.
The first lady told a group of Washington schoolchildren on hand for the occasion that first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama were usually more willing to try fresh fruits and vegetables because fresh produce generally tastes better.
The garden is one of several additions to the White House South Lawn. A swing set for the first daughters was recently installed near the Oval Office. The presidential garden will be used, among other things, for growing such staples as butterhead and red leaf lettuce, spinach, broccoli, onions, carrots and peas.