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California gets a garden too

March 25, 2009 | 12:56 pm

Michelle

First there was the edible garden at the White House -- that's First Lady Michelle Obama helping elementary school students break ground  on it last Friday, the first day of spring.

Now, it's Sacramento's turn. This spring, a public edible garden will be planted in Capitol Park, California First Lady Maria Shriver announced on Ag Day.

"This new garden will bring awareness to children, students and visitors about the important role of food, where it comes from, nutritional value, how it is grown and harvested and ultimately how it reaches the tables of those who need it most," she said Monday.

Shriver said she's getting help from many people, including state Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura and Alice Waters, the chef who established the Edible Schoolyard gardening and food program at a middle school in Berkeley.

"We are delighted to help Maria's team by offering our knowledge of sustainable gardening and learning methods that invite children to explore and enjoy edible landscapes and nourishing foods," Waters said.

The 800-square-foot garden will be planted in a flower bed. The crops have not been decided yet, said Shriver's spokesman, Francisco Castillo.

Waters, who owns Chez Panisse in Berkeley, has been vocal about food at the White House for years, and called on the Obamas to highlight the food they eat and serve. She and others lobbied for an edible garden that would not only provide food but also serve as a model. Produce from the garden will be used by the White House kitchen.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Joyce N. Boghosian / Environmental Protection Agency

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