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Reviewed by Michael Smith on July 11, 2014


Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, director of nutrition, WebMD. Michelle Obama, first lady. Hansa Bhargava, MD, WebMD medical expert. Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, nutrition consultant and author. Jim Kauffman, national director for health and well-being, YMCA of the USA.

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Audience Member: Tell us about the vegetables you grow in the White House garden, please.

Michelle Obama: I would be happy to. Well, as you all know, one of the first things I did as first lady was to plant a White House kitchen garden, and it has been one of the best and most fulfilling things that I've done as first lady. It's about 1,100 square feet. It may be a little bit larger, because I think we expanded it here or there, a few new beds, and we grow a little bit of everything. Lots of herbs, lots of different lettuces. Sweet potatoes are a big favorite because you never know what they look like until you pull them up from the ground and they're these huge, monstrous potatoes. So the kids that help us harvest get a big kick out of that. We've tried to plant watermelon, not having done so well on watermelons. We got some little pumpkins. We worked on some berries, but we can't keep the birds away from the berries. Lots of snap peas, broccoli. So we plant what we enjoy. And the White House kitchen garden just doesn't feed our family, but we use it at important state dinners and lunches, and the leftovers we donate to a soup kitchen that focuses on healthy eating, making sure that their customer base is eating well, too. And we also have a beehive that has really helped with pollination and it's helped our garden grow in many ways, and we get many pounds of honey every year, and we use those as gifts. I've given them to almost every first lady of every country that has come to visit or I visited, so it's a wonderful gift. So it's been a real fun experience, and we work with kids in the community. They help us do everything from planting, sowing, harvesting, and eating. We actually do a little eating, too. So it's a lot of fun. So you have to come and visit my garden, right? All right.

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