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Obamas Plant a Garden on Their Lawn

Obamas Plant a Garden on Their Lawn

Michelle Obama breaks ground for the new White House vegetable garden (taken from the White House blog)

Marin Burros | International Herald Tribune

In 1943, in a time of war, Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden on the White House lawn.

On Friday, as America fights obesity and unhealthful eating habits, Michelle Obama will begin to plant an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn.

While the garden will provide food for the first family, the White House staff and important dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be in educating children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables.

“My hope,” she said in an interview in her office, “is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

Twenty-three fifth graders from a Washington elementary school will help Mrs. Obama dig up the soil for a plot covering 1,100 square feet, or about 100 square meters, in an area visible to passers-by on E Street. Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs.

Almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said laughing. “Now Grandma, my mom, I don’t know.” Her mother, she said, would probably sit back and say: “Isn’t that lovely. You missed a spot.”