Michelle Obama isn't the first first lady to plant a garden at the White House. Eleanor Roosevelt made her "victory garden" famous during World War Two. But, Mrs. Obama's efforts over the last three years target today's youth, and their eating habits.
"Welcome to the White House to the first ladies kitchen garden," says Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef. "The first lady planted this garden to really start a conversation around food and where it comes from and to make sure we are feeding our kids and families as healthy food as we can."
The garden has 55 different varieties of vegetables. Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "We make all kinds of stuff, sweet potatoes those are very popular, these are our first crop of regular potatoes. We just got our sweet potatoes in so we just turned over from spring and so we are doing really great. We have some great peppers over here." Bridget Breen, Reporting, "What do you do with sea kale?" Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "These are the Thomas Jefferson beds over here and it's kind of like a kale, but it's really thick and we're just experimenting we've never grown it before, It's a really really old plant. You eat the leaves, they're kind of like collards, you cook'em and cook'em.
"This is the perennial herb garden, these herbs grow year around so having some fresh herbs at your disposal like this makes everything take better, some sage for sweet potatoes, rosemary when we are doing some grilling, love using rosemary on anything on the grill." Bridget Breen, Reporting, "Is the secret to getting kids to eat their vegetables?" Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "Always helps."
Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "Here we have some of our peppers those peppers are just coming in. Looking good right?" Bridget Breen, Reporting, "Those look nice."
Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "These are tomatoes, we just got out tomatoes in over the last few weeks and it's been so warm with a lot of great rain that they're just going crazy so I think we are going to have a great year for tomatoes and here are our first cucumbers, pickling cucumbers so we're excited" Bridget Breen, Reporting, "Oh little baby cukes."
Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "These are green beans, oh you know if you have some fresh green beans and I'm gonna give you a taste, taste that, don't eat the end."
Bridget Breen, Reporting, "Don't what?" Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "give a taste." Bridget Breen, Reporting "All right, oh it is good! Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "Pretty good right?" Bridget Breen, Reporting "That's really good!" Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "Told you." Bridget Breen, Reporting "That doesn't need anything on it." Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "It doesn't. That's what I was just gonna say you get a fresh green bean like this, you don't need anything on it they 're amazing right." Bridget Breen, Reporting says "I'm impressed."
Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "So this is our fig tree the little fig that could so a volunteer who was just helping weed, actually it's first year when it was about that big pulled it out because they thought it was a weed and put it over in the compost so it was out of the ground for over two days, so we replanted it and it didn't grow at all the first year and then the second year it grew and gave us a few figs but only at the end so this year it's just going crazy so we are very very excited."
Bridget Breen, Reporting "What's the families favorite dish?" Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says, "Oh I'm sorry but that's top secret information. No, you know the first family practices what they preach balance and moderation, so they make sure we are eating balanced meals at home and when it's time to go out and grab a burger or some fries that's totally fine."
Bridget Breen, Reporting, "Do the girls eat their vegetables?" Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef says "Absolutely. They have no choice their mom is the first lady so that's how it works."
The White House Kitchen Garden serves three purposes: feeding the first family their dinner, about a third of what's grown is donated to a local soup kitchen, and, the kitchen garden is used for State Dinners and other official functions.
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