First Lady Michelle Obama has a contract with the Crown Publishing Group to write a book about the garden she has planted with local schoolchildren on the South Lawn of the White House and the benefits of healthy eating. The book, scheduled for publication in April 2012, also will include some of the Obama family’s favorite recipes. The first lady plans to donate the proceeds to charity.
“We've gotten food out of the garden, and we can eat it and it’s good,” Obama told The Associated Press. “So we wanted to share the story with the rest of the nation and perhaps with the rest of the world because we get so many questions about the garden: How did we do it? Why did we do it? How do I do this in my own home or community?”
More important, it is a tool to teach children about the importance of a healthy diet and they are expected to also share what they learn with their families and friends. In addition to planting things they’re familiar with, like spinach, collards and turnips, they are exposed to more exotic vegetables, like pak choi, kohlrabi and endive. Each year two different schools participate in the project, but only Bancroft Elementary has been involved every year. They returned to the White House Wednesday for the spring planting. So far the garden has yielded approximately 2,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables.
Obama also paved the way for the opening of a new farmers market near the White House and started a national anti-obesity campaign called “Let’s Move!” White House chefs have worked closely with the second participating school, Harriet Tubman Elementary School, through the Chefs Move to Schools, an initiative run by the Department of Agriculture, through which chefs around the nation adopt a school and working with teachers, parents, school nutritionists and administrators to make nutrition fun for children.
The amount of the book contract has not been disclosed and Obama hasn't yet decided which charity or charities she'll give it to.
Image: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson