Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced "The People's Garden" healthy garden series, a summer program with a full range of programming for both kids and adults. The Healthy Garden Workshops will primarily be for adults, while the Growing Healthy Kids series will be offered for young people.
"These workshops are open to everyone and demonstrate how easy it is to grow a sustainable garden no matter where you live," Vilsack said. "We are proud to have leading experts from within and outside of USDA lend their experience for creating and managing a garden from the ground up."
Healthy Garden Workshops will take place, rain or shine, from noon to 1 p.m. every Friday in the garden or under a tent on the north lawn of http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&client=firefox-a&q=Jamie+L.+Whitten+Bl...  ">USDA's Jamie L. Whitten building.
The healthy garden series will focus on a different theme each month.
Pre-registration is required for this series; seats will be limited to 50 participants. To reserve a seat, call 202.690.3989 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to register.
The Growing Healthy Kids youth series will be hands-on learning programs based upon the Junior Master Gardener curriculum. There are three programs: Plant Pals, Tops or Bottoms, and U-B the Judge. Plant Pals will help curious-minded children discover why certain plants are better neighbors in the garden than others. Tops or Bottoms will encourage young gardeners to use their knowledge of plant structures in identifying which part of the plant is eaten. And U-B the Judge will give youth a chance to evaluate fruits and vegetables based on color, texture, taste and smell. Each program is an hour long and will be held outside at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. every Wednesday from May through October. Youth programs are cancelled if it rains. Space is limited to 30 youth, and participants must be at least 5 years old. Call 202.708.0082 to register a group for one of the three programs.
Last year, 'The People's Garden' was unveiled and opened to the public as a living exhibit of what USDA does every day. It incorporates sustainable practices, it is a collaborative effort and it benefits the community. To date, more than 300 gardens across the country have been designated as People's Gardens. For more information about the initiative, visit www.usda.gov/peoplesgarden . You can also follow the initiative on Twitter at @peoplesgarden . You can also check out the USDA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USDA  and view photos from the projects on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov .