Harvest Day at the White House

ABC News’ Yunji de Nies reports:

Michelle Obama led harvest day at the White House Kitchen Garden this afternoon. With several dozen local elementary students and the White House kitchen staff on hand to help, the First Lady dug into the dirt, pulling up sweet potatoes, fennel, carrots and the occasional worm.

“Helps the soil!” she declared, holding up a large, wiggling earthworm.

Before getting to work, Mrs. Obama gave a short history of the garden, explaining how it all began with tilling and planting last March.

“This garden wasn’t here before. Nothing was here. This was grass like everything else, so we thought, ‘Well wouldn’t it be great if we could use this garden to talk about the importance of healthy eating and what good fresh foods taste like?’” she said.

The garden was also harvested in the spring and in the summer, yielding 740 pounds of produce. Mrs. Obama said the White House invested less than $200 on soil and seeds. “For less than $200 we have planted, not just enough food to feed the folks at the White House but we’ve also given a lot of food to some of our neighbors,” she said.

Today’s harvest, the weight of which is still being tallied by the White House chefs, will go to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local food bank and soup kitchen.

Mrs. Obama has already had a taste of this season’s crops.

“My girls and I, we got a couple of these sweet potatoes,” she said, “These sweet potatoes are huge!”

The group spent about a half an hour harvesting, before gathering all of the produce into large boxes and wheel barrows. As they piled up the food, Mrs. Obama declared, “What a bounty!”

The group posed for a photograph on the South Lawn, saying “Vegetables!”

FLOTUS Fashion Watch: Mrs. Obama wore blue ink washed skinny jeans, a gray t-shirt, with a purple cardigan, topped a studded purple belt and two thin silver necklaces and small “Hope” pendant. She wore purple Converse All Stars.

(Photo Credits: ABC News/Yunji de Nies)

-- Yunji de Nies

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