In addition to pulling up pounds and pounds of fresh vegetables, Mrs. Obama and the kids planted corn, beans and squash--"the three sisters"--using a Native American planting technique. Jefferson Keel, chairman of the National Congress of American Indians, led a prayer before the planting began (Above: Sam Kass, far left, Mrs. Obama, and the kids bow their heads as Keel chants)
The First Lady's remarks before the gardening activity started:
THE WHITE HOUSE
For Immediate Release
June 3, 2011
REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY
AT GARDEN HARVEST EVENT
White House Kitchen Garden
3:36 P.M. EDT
MRS. OBAMA: So welcome to the White House, the South Lawn! What do you think?
CHILD: I like it!
MRS. OBAMA: You like it? It’s okay? It’s awesome. It’s awesome. Well, you -- this is a beautiful day, because it was like a hundred-and-a-million degrees here on Monday and it would have been miserable to be out here. But we got a perfect day, and this is a very special day for the White House Kitchen Garden because in addition to harvesting some of the lettuces, I think we’ve got broccoli that's ready.
What else are we going to do? What's ready? Are we going to get some of the rhubarb that we -- we got rhubarb. You see those big huge leaves? That's rhubarb. And it’s huge! It’s like an elephant’s ear.
So we’re going to pick some of that and we’re going to use some of that food in the White House to feed the President’s family and our guests. But we’re also going to give it away to people who need good, healthy food who don't have homes. So we’re going to be able to get a lot done.
But we’re also going to do a Three Sisters planting today because last week we launched a special new part of our "Let's Move" initiative. Do you guys know all about "Let's Move," what we’re trying to do? Have you heard about it?
We’re going to try to make sure that all you kids grow up healthy, knowing what to eat, knowing how to exercise. It’s a whole initiative to work with people all across the country to think about how we eat and how we move our bodies so that you guys grow up healthy and strong and able to do well in school and be successful in life. That's what the whole "Let's Move" effort is about.
But last week we launched a new component of the program called Let's Move Indian Country. And we’re working specifically with young kids in the Native American community all across the country. And this planting is a special way to highlight that new initiative. And this is the first time ever that we’re going to do a Three Sisters planting here in the White House Kitchen Garden. And you all are going to be a part of making that happen. Is that -- does that sound okay? Yeah, yeah, sounds fun?
So we’re not going to talk too long. I’m going to turn it over to our special guest, Jefferson Keel, and he’s going to tell us a little bit about the Three Sisters planting, and he’s going to do a blessing, okay?
So let’s listen up, and then we’ll get to work, okay? All right, here we go. I’m going to turn it over.
3:39 P.M. EDT