I’m still in awe that I was one of the 17 people chosen out of hundreds of applicants to attend the Let’s Move White House Tweetup yesterday. It was a very long, fairly quick paced day, and I thought the best way to share the events with you would be to show you in a pictorial.
When we received our instructions for the day via email, we also received the official hashtags for the Tweetup. It was clear that we were to tweet throughout our day. My fellow tweeps, Maxine Teller of MiXT Media, Sarah Murphy of School Nutrition Association, and Takia McClendon of Philly Food for Thought do just that as they stand in front of a plant grown with seeds that have been passed down from Thomas Jefferson’s garden.
I need one of these signs in my own garden. It’s at the entrance to the White House kitchen garden.
This photo shows a good deal of the garden. A third of the food grown in this garden goes to Miriam’s Kitchen. The rest is used for White House dinners, both the first family’s nightly dinners and state dinners.
White House chef and policy advisor Sam Kass is really proud of the garden that he has helped to create. He was so excited that this fig tree is beginning to produce figs for the first time this year that he asked us to please take a picture of the figs and tweet it. I obliged (and auto-correct messed up Mr. Kass’ name).
After our tour of the garden, White House beekeeper Charlie Brandts (who has worked as a carpenter at the White House for 25 years) told us about the White House bees. This year, this one hive produced 225 pounds of honey. After our time with Mr. Brandts, we had a Q&A with Let’s Move Executive Director Dr. Judith Palfrey who told us about some of the measurable success that Let’s Move has achieved.
This boy caught wind that the press would snap a lot of photos when he pulled a sweet potato out of the ground so he started hamming it up. He would pull one out and let everyone know very loudly that he got another big one. I later eavesdropped on him speaking with a reporter, and he said that Mrs. Obama “smiled a lot and has a good personality.”
The first lady got down on the ground with the kids and did her part in harvesting the garden. Earlier today I posted a video of Michelle Obama welcoming the kids to the harvest. It's worth a look to see what some of the kids have to say to her.
The day moved so fast, and we didn’t get a chance to interact personally with Mrs. Obama (just getting close enough to watch her in action was an honor), but I was bound and determined to get in a photo with her.
This is just a portion of what was harvested yesterday.
Michelle Obama says goodbye to some of the students that helped with the harvest. The kids genuinely loved her, and her love, care and concern for these kids and their health was very evident. I was particularly taken by this moment.
The last thing we did was spend some time in the White House kitchen with Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford where she prepared a meal that fit the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines. I’ll have a separate piece on this experience tomorrow, but I have to tell you, the White House kitchen is really small. According to WhiteHouseMuseum.org the kitchen and pantry together are about 22 feet by 27 1/2 feet.
Here are the 17 of us after our long, once-in-a-lifetime day.