10 APRIL 2009

Rolling Easter eggs on the South Lawn of the White House is a celebrated tradition in Washington. And the souvenir egg each of the thousand or so children participating in the Monday event will take home has been revealed this week. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have helped come up with special 'green' eggs.

As in previous years the eggs are made of wood, but the 2009 version uses 31 per cent less paperboard than last year's and is coloured with renewable vegetable oil-based inks. Anyone not attending the ticket-only event at the Presidential residence can get their hands on one of the eggs – which are signed by the first couple – from the National Parks Foundation, will all proceeds going to the organisation.

As the first Easter egg of the Obama administration was unveiled Mrs Obama was busy sowing seeds for the future of the new White House kitchen garden. Wearing a red waterproof and trainers, the 45-year-old rolled up her sleeves and pulled on brown gloves to plant seedlings in the 1,100-square-foot L-shaped plot on the South Lawn.

The mum-of-two was helped by 25 local children in laying down spinach, assorted types of lettuce, herbs - including dill, oregano and rosemary - onions, shallots, cucumbers, peppers and peas.

A champion of healthy eating, Mrs Obama – who loves organic produce - said she and her family could be enjoying salads made with lettuce from the garden in a fortnight.

Before the group got down to business she told the children that Prince Charles – a fellow lover of gardening and healthy food - had asked her about her plans for the garden while she was in England for the G20 summit.

Photo: Rex
The First Couple have helped come up with an eco-friendly wooden egg which uses less materials than last year's and is coloured with renewable vegetable-oil dye. One will be given to each child who attends the traditional Easter egg rolling event at the Presidential residence on Monday
Photo: Rex
The US President's wife has also been busy working in the new White House kitchen garden with local schoolchildren. The group put down lettuce, herb, onion, shallot, cucumber, pepper and pea seedling – all which will be eaten by the First Lady and her family
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