First Gardener Michelle Obama

As someone who loves gardening and enjoys eating organic home grown vegetables, I was very pleased to hear last spring that our First Lady Michelle Obama planted a garden in the South Lawn of the White House, only two months after the Obamas moved into the White House. It is the first garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II.

The garden where fruits and vegetables are grown for use year-round provides food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners. But its most important role is to educate children about locally and organically grown fruit and vegetables, and to promote healthful eating.

Students from the area elementary schools helped planting and harvesting.

In June and October, the First Lady had harvest parties. She got down on her hands and knees and helped the kids dig up the vegetables. The food was donated to the local food shelf.

A Washington Post article on November 19 also reported that the First Lady visited Hollin Meadows Elementary in Virginia to honor the school’s nutrition and fitness efforts.

Hollin Meadows is one of hundreds of schools throughout the country to be recognized by the U.S. Agriculture Department for its emphasis on nutrition and fitness. The School has more than 14,000 square feet of gardens.

I am really pleased to see Michelle Obama as a role model and cheerleader for healthful eating and sustainable farming. Through her action, the First Lady can create a very powerful message about growing and eating healthy food.

A change in diets and eating habits is badly needed in this country at this time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern. I have to commend the First Lady for her efforts in leading the change.