Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the Let’s Move blog. See the original post here.
Yesterday, the First Lady welcomed local students and FoodCorps leaders on the South Lawn for the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen Garden. The garden was first planted in 2009 to commence a nationwide conversation on healthy eating and inspired the First Lady to launch Let’s Move!
At this year’s planting, the First Lady hosted the founders of FoodCorps, a program dedicated to teaching our nation’s children about healthy food while ensuring they have access to it during the school day. This fall, FoodCorps members will serve D.C.-area schools including Cleveland Elementary School, Friendship Public Charter School, and Kimball Elementary School — and students from these schools accompanied FoodCorps at the garden planting. In addition, students from Bancroft Elementary School and Harriet Tubman Elementary School who have participated in previous White House Garden events also attended this year’s planting.
We are excited to see that more and more people are now planting vegetable gardens across the nation. According to a report released yesterday by the National Gardening Association:
- 35% of all households in America are growing food at home or in a community garden, a 17% increase in participation in the last five years.
- 2 million more households are engaging in community gardening, an increase of 200% since 2008.
In addition, the first-ever White House Pollinator Garden was planted to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators. Nearly two-thirds of the foods we often consume are pollinated by bees, so we rely on bees for much of our food. Therefore, it’s important to have plants in the garden that support pollination, like the ones that were planted yesterday. This garden will also serve to raise awareness of the major environmental threats currently facing pollinators across the nation.
Interested in joining the millions of Americans who have started planting vegetable gardens? The First Lady has put together a Kitchen Garden Checklist that provides you with easy-to-follow instructions on how to start a vegetable garden at your home. Planting a vegetable garden is a great project for the entire family, allowing children to learn while also providing healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables for meals this season.