Twenty-six elementary schoolchildren wielded shovels, rakes, pitchforks and wheelbarrows to help first lady Michelle Obama break ground on a produce and herb garden on the White House grounds.
Among the crops to be planted in the coming weeks are spinach, broccoli, various lettuces, kale and collard greens, and assorted herbs. The planted produce will rotate with the seasons.
The first harvest is expected by late April.
Assistant chef Sam Kass says some of the produce will be cooked in the White House kitchen and some will be given to a local soup kitchen where Mrs. Obama recently helped serve lunch.
Mrs. Obama told the students that her family has talked about planting such a garden since they moved to the White House. She said her daughters, Malia and Sasha, like fresh vegetables better.
Mrs. Obama then led a cheer with the children, shouting, "Let's hear it for vegetables!" and "Let's hear it for fruits!"
The first lady joked with reporters, telling them to stop taking pictures and start shoveling.