Michelle Obama Grows a Garden

By Gennifer R. RSS Fri, January 17, 2020

Today is the birthday of celebrated former First Lady and citizen of the world, Michelle Obama. A political figure in her own right, Michelle Obama is well known for her healthy eating campaign, Lets Move! The campaign targeted childhood obesity by focusing on nutrition and creating home-grown solutions to battle barriers of nutritional food access. The plan created 5 simple steps to engage parents, kids, schools, and broader communities in approaching a more holistically healthy lifestyle.

Today we celebrate Michelle Obama’s leadership through literature, movement, and culinary literacy!

Do you want your class to learn math, practice reading, and gain basic culinary skills all while having a great time? Check out Nourishing Literacy at the Culinary Literacy Center! Open to classes ranging from preschool to high school, Nourishing Literacy offers students a unique culinary experience, with tasty end results! Fill out the intake form to bring your classroom into the kitchen.


Did you know the Free Library has books on gardening, recipe books, and picture books for young minds learning about a well-rounded healthy lifestyle?

Want to garden, but feeling pressed for space? Check out Gay Search’s Gardening Without a Garden—a city solution to growing food when space is tight.








Do you learn best through pictures and scientific explanation? See this field guide, Gardening: The Complete Guide, which details the how-to’s of efficient practices that maximizes yield but minimizes time. Consider it the houseplant you seldom have to water.







Solo gardening isn’t the only way to dig in. Volunteering is a great way to get invested in a community garden, and the young leaders of this story are ready to show early readers what it’s like! The Garden by Gwendolyn Hooks takes kids through the process of planting and growing a garden, while working together.








Once you get the garden going, you’ll need to do something with all that produce! Find a cookbook just for kids at your neighborhood library or browse our online catalog.





Before you get started, learn about the history of Philadelphia’s community gardens! Our gardens grow our communities and expand the possibilities of what our Philly futures can look like.  


Programs, plants, and people

Eyewitness Nature with Bartram’s Garden at Queens Memorial Library
Spend time with the Bartram’s Garden staff during this nurturing nature series for children ages 8-13.




Hand Salve Making with Urbanstead at the South Philadelphia Library
Do you like to play with your food? We do too! Learn how to make a natural hand salve, using herbal ingredients with the experts at Urbanstead.




Rain Check Workshop at Andorra Library
The main ingredient for life on earth is water! The Philadelphia Water Department and the Philadelphia Horticultural Society will be sharing insights on how to save up on rainwater to make your garden grow. 



What’s the Buzz at the Free Library?
Looking for more exciting ways to connect to the worlds of food and gardening? Visit the beehive at Richmond Library! We can’t BEE-lieve how lucky we are to get to spend time with these amazing pollinators.




Are you looking to keep your body moving in the new year? Check out what you can do with your library card, from birding backpacks, home gym kits, or the Health Lending Library—consider the Free Library a toolkit for getting up on your feet and moving in the streets!





Thank you to Michelle Obama for putting healthy living on the national to-do list. Happy birthday to you!

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