First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear Promotes Sustainability through First Ever Governor’s Garden

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 02, 2009  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton
Sarah Baird

FRANKFORT, Ky. — First Lady Jane Beshear today joined with leaders from Western Hills High School, Kentucky Proud and Access Food Pantry to unveil and celebrate the first ever Governor's Garden.

Located on the grounds of Berry Hill Mansion, the garden is comprised of three separate plots. Each of these 16-by-24 foot plots represents a model of what can be grown in backyards and public spaces across the Commonwealth. Two sections of the garden are identical summer garden plots prepared by the Western Hills High School agriculture students and FFA members. Playing host to a diverse variety of crops including tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, corn and watermelons, the garden has already produced a significant summer bounty, including ten-inch squash and cucumbers.

The third plot has been recently planted by Kentucky State University students and garden club members from the Frankfort area. These volunteers have pitched in to create a fall garden with plantings that reflect the opportunity to extend until first frost the continuing harvest of the types of produce that are present in the summer garden plots.

The Governor’s Garden is a part of Mrs. Beshear's larger Green Team initiative, which strives to promote sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental preservation.

“Leading by example is imperative for teaching Kentuckians how to live more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyles,” said Mrs. Beshear. “The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. By growing crops in your own backyard or buying locally grown produce, families can eliminate wasteful burning of fossil fuels and have access to fresher, healthier produce.”

The majority of the produce raised in the Governor’s Garden will be donated to Access Soup Kitchen, enabling many who often lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables to have healthy, nutritious meals.

For individuals who want to begin their own home gardens, assistance is available as part of the Governor’s Garden initiative at cooperative extension service offices, located in every county across the Commonwealth.

For more information about the Green Team initiative and for tips on how to live a more sustainable life, visit