As US President Barack Obama hopes for green shoots of economic recovery, his wife Michelle is seeking a different return to growth, from the first White House kitchen garden in 60 years.
The first lady grabbed a shovel and joined local school kids on Friday to break ground on the first presidential vegetable patch since Eleanor Roosevelt's "victory garden" in World War II, as part of her crusade to promote healthy eating.
The organic plot, on a secluded part of the White House's south lawn, is tipped to produce a bumper harvest of spinach, lettuce, kale, shell-peas, broccoli and radishes, as well as verdant traditional herbs.
Borders in the garden, shaded by trees, are planted with a mix of marigolds, nasturtiums and Zinnias."The whole point of this garden for us is that I want to make sure that our family, as well as the staff and all the people who come to the White House and eat our food, get access to really fresh vegetables and fruits," the first lady said.
"Today is getting the soil ready," Obama told children from an elementary school in Washington.
"Then we'll come back in a couple of weeks to actually do the planting, and then sometime in June, right around the time that school is over, hopefully we'll have lots of great vegetables and fruits.