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New Jersey students help Michelle Obama harvest White House garden


Erin O'Neill/The Star-Ledger May 28, 2013, 3:13:31 PM EDT


It’s even more unlikely that in the same afternoon that kid would shake hands with the President of the United States.

"This is a chance of a lifetime. This is unbelievable," said Karen McKeon, superintendent of the Long Beach Island Consolidated School District. "At my age it’s a chance of a lifetime. At their age it’s like wow, spectacular, I don’t know if it can get any better than this."


"Don’t be afraid," she told him, as he worked in the sun alongside Jordan Leeds of Harvey Cedars and Madisyn Goias of Union Beach. "Because it’s going to feel like you’re ripping it."

The students used the freshly-picked vegetables — including lettuce, radishes and kale — to make whole-wheat pizzas and a salad, which they ate along with lemonade at picnic tables set up next to the garden on the South Lawn of the White House.


michelle-obama-garden.JPGFirst Lady Michelle Obama in the White House kitchen garden with children from Sandy-affected Union Beach and Ship Bottom. Erin O'Neill/The Star-Ledger

The grade school in Long Beach won’t be repaired until next winter at the earliest, McKeon said. But it may take all year to finish renovations, she said.

Styler-Tracy — who had been displaced from his Sandy-damaged home until about a month ago — said he thought the gardening was going to be the extent of his day.

"That was surprising," Styler-Tracy said. "It was cool."