With help from local schoolchildren, Michelle Obama broke ground on Friday on the first White House vegetable garden since World War II. The First Lady, knownfor her devotion to healthy eating habits and workouts, will grow 55 kinds of vegetables in the 1,100-square-foot garden, including spinach, broccoli,carrots, rhubarb, fennel, shell peas and more. One notable exception? Beets, which the president hates. The fruits and vegetables grown in the garden will be harvested by White House chefs and used for both casual family dinners and moreformal affairs. Start-up costs totaled just $200.
Shortly after Obama was elected last November, chef and locally-grown food cheerleader Alice Waters volunteered herself as an advisor on food policy, a member of the president’s “kitchen cabinet.” “I cannot forget the vision I have had since 1993 of a beautiful vegetable garden on the White House lawn,” she wrote in a letter to the Obamas. “It would demonstrate to the nation and to the world our priority of stewardship of the land--a true victory garden!” And hers wasn’t the only call to action. Told of plans for the new organic vegetable garden, Waters said, “Nothing could be more exciting.”
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