Obama, Obama, How Does Your Garden Grow?

By Danny

Apr 9, 2009 7:33pm

ABC News’ Jon Garcia reports: Well, if all goes well, it will be producing fresh herbs and vegetables by next month — and cheaply, said First Lady Michelle Obama, on day one of planting in the new, 1100-square-foot White House Kitchen Garden. "It hasn’t cost us more than $200 to plant this," Mrs. Obama told about 20 fifth and sixth graders from Bancroft Elementary School — some of whom guessed it would cost upward of $5,000. These were the same kids who helped launch the garden last month and today their job was to help Mrs. Obama, about a dozen kitchen staff and others to plant some of the approximately 55 items the garden will eventually contain. "In a few months, hopefully right around the time you get out of school, you can come and help us harvest the fruits and vegetables, and come into the White House with all of our chefs and start doing a little cooking," the First Lady promised the kids. And so they started planting — dill, cilantro, spinach and four kinds of lettuce. "We’re gonna need some water over here before we do more," Mrs. Obama called out to 5th graders Michelle Pisqui and Santana Holmes, the two girls who helped her plant the herbs next to the rhubarb boxes. Sugar snap peas, shallots, arugula. "Oh, you can smell it," Mrs. Obama said as she tucked the seedlings of cilantro deep in the organic soil. "It smells so good!" Cucumbers, okra, sweet potatoes and kale. Head groundskeeper Dale Haney–who used to be seen taking care of the Bush dogs–now has the task of helping oversee the garden. "We should see wild blueberries by June," Haney told reporters.  "And spinach in a couple of weeks," added Associate White House Chef Sam Kass. What if it doesn’t rain?  Kass says they’ll come down and water every day. If the yield from the garden is too plentiful for the White House kitchen to use before spoiling, don’t worry. All surplus veggies will go to a nearby soup kitchen. To see a diagram of the White House garden click here.

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