The Governor’s Garden program seeks to promote products which are grown and produce in Kentucky by local farmers. This program encourages Kentucky businesses, organizations, schools, and communities, to cultivate and maintain their own gardens. The Governor’s Garden program further seeks to educate the public about the health and economic benefits of community gardening and utilizing locally grown foods.
In 2009, inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s garden at the White House and her commitment to bring awareness to childhood obesity, Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear partnered with several government, education and agricultural organizations to launch Kentucky’s first Governor’s Garden. The original garden is located on the grounds of Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort, just a short distance up the hill from the Kentucky State Capitol.
The Governor’s Garden is a part of the Beshear administration’s Green Team initiative, which strives to promote sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental preservation. The garden teaches students and members of the community how to develop and grow a primary source of sustainable, local and healthy food.
Today, there are five Governor’s Garden locations across the Commonwealth and numerous other garden sites that have been inspired by this initiative. All produce harvested from each official Governor’s Garden site is donated to local soup kitchens and food pantries or prepared at onsite kitchens.
“The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to the dinner table. By growing gardens in our backyards across Kentucky or buying locally grown produce, families can eliminate wasteful burning of fossil fuels and have access to fresher, healthier produce.”
– First Lady Jane Beshear