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Maria Shriver plants edible garden

May 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
California's First Lady Maria Shriver planted the first edible garden on the California State Capitol grounds Thursday.The garden is designed to teach Californians, particularly students, about nutrition, healthy living, science and water conservation.

"So many thousands of kids come here every day to this incredible state capital, and I want them to understand what California really stands for," Shriver said.

The WE Garden project will give hundreds of school children a hands-on educational experience in gardening and growing food.

"Over the years, I have seen how gardens have positively transformed students, schools and communities in California. Gardens are a wonderful resource, and I truly believe in the life lessons they teach, and the lives they touch, and that every school and community should have one," Shriver added.

The 800-square-foot garden will include 16 different kinds of vegetables, herbs and flowers, including garbanzo beans, sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, radishes, beets, strawberries, chives, thyme, parsley, basil, sage, rosemary, sunflowers and marigolds. The crops will change according to the seasons.

The plants have all been donated by local school and community gardens which have grown them from seeds. The project also has commitments for plants to be donated in the future.

"We want Californians to be healthy, eat healthy and get fit. And this new garden is a step in that direction," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Children and visitors alike will now have a chance to learn about California's agricultural legacy and what makes our crops and our food the very best in the world."

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