Having an opportunity to visit the White House is a dream come true for many. Actors, sports icons, and musicians have been on the news shaking hands with the President. Now, people have more reasons to take a tour at the most secure house in the US.
Gardeners from across the country visit the White House not only to see the President and his family, but also to take a closer look at the kitchen garden. The scenery amazed everyone. Visitors could hardly believe something as beautiful and green as the garden could ever exist in the White House.
A Wonderful Experience
It’s a gardener’s pleasure to witness a spectacular display of horticultural knowledge and skills in the White House Kitchen Garden. A group of master gardeners from the University of Maryland Extension in Washington County recently took a tour of the garden. The visitors ‘grinned from ear to ear’ as they pass through the raised beds teeming with leafy greens and tomato vines. The group had a great time watching all the plants and enjoying the scenery.
Scott Koepke, a local food advocate and gardener also had an opportunity to visit the White House Kitchen Garden. He described the experience as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a gardener.”
“I’m still floating from the experience,” said Koepke, education and outreach coordinator for New Pioneer Food Co-op.
What’s in the Garden?
Located on the White House South Lawn, the Kitchen Garden is big enough to house more than 50 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. There are figs, raspberries, and other crops, too. Visitors often get their hands dirty. They are allowed to assist in harvesting and chopping. The garden shows how possible it is to grow fresh, nutritious food in the backyards.
From the Garden to the Kitchen
The White House Kitchen Garden is a sustainable source of fresh produce. It feeds the First Family and the guests at state dinners. It also provides fresh food for local food banks. First Lady Michelle Obama is the mover and shaker behind the garden. She managed to maintain the garden so it can symbolize biodiversity, sustainability, and food security. Local schoolchildren, staff horticulturists, and chefs helped her build the mini farm in April 2009.The First Lady planted the Kitchen Garden to encourage schools and community groups across the country to build their own gardens.
Lessons from the Garden
Visitors learn a lot by visiting the Kitchen Garden. They found inspirations and ideas they can use in their organizations and communities. They realized the importance of sustainability and found that growing their own food is possible through backyard gardening. Koepke said everyone could do what the First Family did with their garden.
The White House Kitchen Garden proved to be an inspiration to all the families in the US and other countries around the globe.