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TN First Lady, Students Begin Planting in New Tennessee Residence Garden

Press release from the Office of the Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam; September 11, 2013:

NASHVILLE – First Lady Crissy Haslam today hosted approximately 60 3rd grade students from Crieve Hall Elementary School in Nashville at the Tennessee Residence to begin planting in the newly constructed Kitchen and Cutting Garden.

Students joined Mrs. Haslam in the garden to read the September Read20 Book of the Month, Janet Steven’s Tops and Bottoms, a folktale about gardening and vegetables. Following the reading, students participated in 3 activity stations to kick off planting in the garden: a guided tour of the Tennessee Residence, a farm-to-table cooking lesson with Residence Chef Stephen Ward, and a garden station to plant the first vegetables in the new garden.“We broke ground on the Kitchen and Cutting garden in May, and it is exciting to begin planting fruits and vegetables to serve in the food we prepare at Tennessee’s home,” said Mrs. Haslam. “It is a special treat to kick off planting with Tennessee students.”

As chair of the Tennessee Executive Residence and Preservation Foundation, Mrs. Haslam has been helping to generate private funds for the landscape renovation project at the Tennessee Residence. Phase II of the project included the construction of the Kitchen and Cutting Garden, sponsored by Tennessee companies Nissan North America and Scripps Networks Interactive. As part of their sponsorship, Scripps Networks Interactive helped to develop a Tennessee Residence Garden Guide for children that includes information about the garden, healthy eating, Tennessee Agriculture, activities for the classroom, and instructions for gardening at home. Tours of the garden will be available to visitors by scheduling a tour on the Tennessee Residence website, www.tn.gov/residence.

“Growing your own produce is a great way to learn about many things including healthy fruits and vegetables, science, problem-solving, sustainability and the environment,” said Mrs. Haslam. “The Kitchen and Cutting Garden is an asset to share Tennessee traditions in agriculture and home gardening with students and visitors from across the state and country.”

For more information about the Kitchen and Cutting Garden or the Read20 Family Book Club visit www.tn.gov/firstlady, www.facebook.com/CrissyHaslam, or follow @CrissyHaslam on Twitter.

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Press Releases

Nursery Growers Advising First Lady Haslam on Tennessee Residence Landscape Renovation

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Feb 15, 2012:

First Lady Crissy Haslam and Commissioner Johnson tour Randall Walker Farms Nursery in Morrison, TN.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam met Feb. 15 with nursery growers and industry leaders and toured local nurseries to highlight Tennessee’s horticultural industry.

Mrs. Haslam met with a small group of nurserymen at Boskey’s Grille in Manchester for a brief discussion on industry issues and to enlist their support for the landscape renovation project at the Tennessee Residence in Nashville.

“Tennessee has a reputation worldwide as a producer of high quality horticultural products, so it’s only natural that we turn to Tennessee growers first to help with the landscape renovation project at the Tennessee Residence,” Haslam said. “I hope this project also brings much needed attention to an important industry that has had its difficulties in recent years.”

Mrs. Haslam hosted the First Lady’s Luncheon in October last year to announce the next phase of the Tennessee Residence Foundation’s preservation and renovation project and kick-off private fundraising efforts for the landscape project. More than 700 men and women from across the state attended the event, demonstrating their support. The foundation, chaired by Mrs. Haslam, will focus their private fundraising efforts to support the project, intended to bring the Residence grounds back to their original design and health, while focusing on vegetation original to the home and native of Tennessee.

State Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson joined Mrs. Haslam as they met with industry leaders and toured Randall Walker Farms and Hale and Hines Nursery in Warren County, which is known as the “Nursery Capital of the World.”

“Nursery and greenhouse products are among our state’s top agricultural commodities, generating nearly $300 million annually in farm income,” Johnson said. “We appreciate the First Lady highlighting this important industry sector by involving them in this project and recognizing the value of quality, locally grown products.”

Terry Hines of Hale and Hines Nursery in McMinnville said he welcomes the First Lady’s visit. “We’re happy that Mrs. Haslam has come to McMinnville to learn more about our industry. We’re honored that she’s looking to us for help with the Tennessee Residence landscape project. We have a great local industry with good people who produce a great product, so any attention is appreciated as we look to expand markets for our products.”

Tennessee has more than 700 nurseries, 300 greenhouses, 2,500 plant dealers and 400 landscapers certified across the state, producing 21.7 million containers of plants and 48,000 acres of growing area. Tennessee nurseries sell wholesale, retail and farm direct. For help on finding quality Tennessee nursery and greenhouse products, visit www.picktnproducts.org.