Upcoming Heartland Episode Features First Lady in the Garden

October 22, 2010 Bookmark and Share

First Lady Michelle Obama will be the featured guest on episode 609 of America’s Heartland, which should begin airing around the country the week of Nov. 1.

Heartland is the only nationally-distributed program on American agriculture and runs weekly on many PBS stations and multiple times weekly on RFD-TV.

In episode 609, Heartland reporter Jason Shoultz and Obama tour the White House “kitchen garden” to examine the impressive array of vegetables and other produce the First Family sees as an essential part of the solution to the problem of childhood obesity.

Shoultz also meets the many people who work the garden, including White House staffers volunteering their time, chefs and U.S. Park Service gardeners. Together, they’re raising a cornucopia of fresh products, including tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, lettuce, bell peppers, corn and eggplant.

Although some food is given to local soup kitchens, the First Lady told Heartland much of the bounty ends up on the family dinner table.

Historians say the first White House kitchen garden was started by President John Adams and his wife Abigail in 1800. The last garden on White House grounds was in the 1940s, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt encouraged Americans to create “victory gardens” to aid the U.S. campaign in World War II.

The Obamas say they began discussing the idea of a White House garden even before the 2008 presidential election.

Launched in 2005, the Emmy-nominated Heartland is in its sixth season of taking viewers to the American countryside and introducing non-farm audiences to the men and women who provide their food, fuel and fiber. Approximately 44 million viewers watch the show each season.

NAWG is both a promotional partner for Heartland and a member of the show’s Advisory Board.

Viewers can check their local listings for the upcoming episode featuring the First Lady at http://americasheartland.org/watch_heartland/index.htm.