Let's Dirty it Up!
It was the same garden, the same red and white checked tablecloth, and the same hostess — none other than First Lady Michelle Obama — but this time something was different. Instead of the rowdy crowd of kids miraculously unveiling the colorful arrays of different veggies and herbs being pulled out of the ground and planted into the kids’ stomach, this time there were new herbs and veggies for a new batch of fourth and fifth graders from Bancroft and Tubman to plant into the ground. The kids and staff together planted the White House garden.
I was very lucky to cover this event with the First Lady. I had been here in the fall to watch the amazing event of the harvesting festival. It was pretty cool seeing where all the plants start out and what they look like when they are little and when they grow into ripe vegetables.
This time, though, I was doubly excited for this event, because I was going to talk to the First Lady herself! This was the closest opportunity I’d probably get to ever get the inside scoop on this event. I was boiling over with excitement. There were three other kid reporters there from different publications, and they were all going to interview the First Lady with me.
After the kids completed the planting and took a group photo, it was time to have the interview with the First Lady. I clutched my questions for her excitedly. Our guide, Katie, guided us to the Children’s Garden, a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson in 1968. It looked like a little park and it had footprints and handprints embedded into the ground: the footprints of the former President’s children and grandchildren. I learned that it was not open to public and was probably the only time we could see it. It was peaceful and the perfect place to be when you want to have some space. It was like a natural children’s playground.
Kid reporters from Scholastic, Time for Kids, Ranger Rick, and National Geographic Kids waited excitedly for the First Lady to come. The First Lady finally walked in and each of the kid reporters got to shake her hand and introduce himself or herself. When we sat down it was no time at all when the youngest kid reporter, Helen, started to ask her questions about the bees and the honey and what they do with them. I learned that the honey from the beehive would probably be used as gifts or even in Mrs. Obama’s tea.
Mrs. Obama answered my questions, which were about Let’s Move and obstacles to eating healthy. The First Lady told the group that lots of children face difficulties or obstacles to eating healthy because they maybe just don’t like vegetables. She also said that her advice to her kids would be to try everything because your taste buds won’t mature if you don’t try a variety of different foods. Some other questions arose to how we should eat our meals and how we should have more meals at home, and how we should have a balanced diet.
During the interview, Michelle Obama stressed the importance of passing on information about eating right and doing the right things. “You’re not here just to plant good vegetables; you’re here to pass the information on.”
Check out my video report and interview with Michelle Obama from the Let's Move garden planting!