Just in time for the first day of spring, Michelle Obama is digging a 1,100-square-foot organic garden to promote locally grown fruits and vegetables to educate Americans about eating healthy.
The garden will feature 55 different types of vegetables, many at the request of the White House kitchen staff. All the crops will start with organic seeds, and the Obamas will use several methods to ensure the garden is environmentally-friendly:
Instead of pesticides, the garden will feature integrated pest management to keep away pests, including the presence of “helpful” insects like ladybugs and praying mantises.
- Plants will be nourished using compost from the White House and crab meal from Chesapeake Bay.
The First Lady will be working with students from Bancroft Elementary School to dig up the soil and plant the seeds. Bancroft has had its own garden since 2001.
This will be the first vegetable garden planted at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden during World War II to provide food for troops.
“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” said Obama. “I wanted to be able to bring what I learned to a broader base of people. And what better way to do it than to plant a vegetable garden in the South Lawn of the White House?”
The White House doesn’t appear to be the only area where organic gardening is taking off. USA Today reports that home gardens will increase by 40 percent this year as families look for ways to save money on produce.