A thousand pounds of harvested fruits and vegetables later,the garden is ready for a new season. Obama invited more Bancroft fifth graders from Washington and students from Hollin Meadows Elementary School in Fairfax County,Va.,to help with the replanting.
Three Hollin Meadows students from each grade were randomly chosen to attend the event.
The White House Kitchen garden yielded 55 different types of fruits and vegetables last year. This year the garden will introduce new plants such as bok choy,white cauliflower,artichokes and mustard greens.
Obama thanked the children for their help with the garden and reminded them how much fun gardening is. “There's nothing like watching tiny seeds grow into something amazing,” she said. “But the garden is about more than just planting healthy food.”
Obama told the children that their help with the garden not only contributed to feeding the first family and White House staff,but much of the food was also donated to homeless shelters.
More important,Obama said,the children's work in the garden helped start a national conversation about healthy eating.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also talked to the children before planting began.
“One thing the garden does is remind parents and kids about eating healthier foods,and we know that makes you smarter,makes you feel better and helps you grow stronger,” Sebelius said.
Vilsack tried to get the children excited and cheering for vegetables so President Barrack Obama and Bo the dog could hear them from inside the White House.
The cheering was strong,until the children half-begrudgingly repeated,”Go spinach!” causing everyone,including the first lady,to laugh.
The group of nearly 50 elementary school students took turns planting vegetables. Obama helped two groups plant broccoli and rhubarb,complete with a “Grow,rhubarb,grow!” dance.
“No matter where you live or what age you are,you can always grow stuff,” she said.