A WHO ‘Thank You’ to the Obamas


The other day, I met a gardener who used to ply the same community garden as I do. He had recently stopped by the old growing grounds, and noticed that many more of the plots were in use this year than last.

I could think of quite a few explanations for more folks growing their own veggies—from the economy to greater awareness about local foods—but this guy believed we owe the rapid increase primarily to one cause. “It’s Michelle Obama,” he said.

Could be. Perhaps the first lady’s White House Kitchen Garden, which was first tilled in March with the help of an enthusiastic group of D.C. school kids and has enjoyed hearty media coverage ever since (including yesterday!), is to thank for turning people on to growing their own food. If that’s the case, we have a laundry list of thank yous for Michelle and her garden.

We have Michelle to thank for improving people’s health with homegrown produce, saving hundreds of barrels of fossil fuel, earning the admiration of the international community, and knitting together the local community.

Man, if only there were a way to express all that gratitude! Now there is—and it looks like a whole lot of fun.

In the spirit of involving kids in the White House garden, the WHO Farm folks are asking “young people (and people young-at-heart)” to send in their thoughts, poetry, crayon drawings, and anything else that says “thanks.”

You may remember Daniel and Casey’s upside-down-bus-turned-Tevamobile. Even without the topsy turvy vehicle, the two gardeners are still at it. They will collect the thank yous, deliver them to the Obamas, and put them into a book for everyone to enjoy.

So if you have children, or a garden, or just like the idea of drawing a picture and feeling like a kid again, go for it! Check out the presentation, which reads like a children’s book in itself. Then start creating and send in your appreciation. Don’t forget to sign the permission slip!

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