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Michelle Obama brings home the kale, eggs, peppers and more from farmers market

September 18, 2009 | 11:07 am


I don't know many people who go to farmers markets if what they crave is a celebrity spotting. Unless the celebrity is a chef, or the market is in Hollywood.

But at the market near the White House, shoppers got to see Michelle Obama on Thursday, the market's opening day. A major figure and fresh tomatoes. Not bad.

According to a pool press report, several hundred people gathered at the market, which is run by FreshFarm Markets. Co-director Ann Yonkers said 18 farmers and producers would sell products at the newest outpost, at a corner of Lafayette Park.

Obama has been promoting healthy eating, in public statements and with a garden at the White House, where a group of elementary school students have worked.

According to the pool report, Obama was greeted by wild cheers when she said,"I have to say, I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables. This is a very, very good thing, and it's raining outside and everybody's pumped up."

Obama also did some shopping -- black kale, eggs, cherry tomatoes, peppers, pears, fingerling potatoes, cheese and chocolate milk, according to the White House.

Other speakers included U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who noted that there are more than 4,700 farmers markets in the country, and Washington Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

The new FreshFarm Markets will be open Thursdays through October, from 3 to 7 p.m. The nonprofit organization operates eight other markets in Washington and Maryland.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama at the farmers market near the White House. Credit: Associated Press