First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Beshear visits Governor’s Garden site at the Kentucky Exposition Center

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 19, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Today First Lady Jane Beshear harvested vegetables from the Governor’s Garden, located on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center, as a part of the Beshear administration’s Green Team initiative, which strives to promote sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental preservation.

“I hope that the Governor’s Garden will help Kentuckians recognize the health benefits of locally grown produce and inspire many families and organizations to plant their own backyard gardens,”  said Mrs. Beshear.  “To harvest this garden on the property of the Kentucky Exposition Center during the Kentucky State Fair is very exciting.  Visitors can see the garden on their way into the fair to observe the many exhibits displaying all types of produce and agriculture from right here in the Commonwealth.”

Joined by Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Jonathan Miller, local chef Dean Corbett and FFA members and elected officers from across the Commonwealth, Mrs. Beshear collected sweet potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, squash and zucchini while chefs from the Governor’s Mansion used hot plates to demonstrate simple recipes and techniques for preparing the freshly picked produce.

“The right diet can make all the difference when it comes to the success of our children,” said Mayor Abramson. “It’s important we get our kids excited about eating healthy. Getting out in the garden and growing your own produce or stopping by a farmer’s market can set the right example and make it fun. Programs like the Governor’s Garden and Louisville Farm to Table are helping that effort.”

Mrs. Beshear created the first Governor’s Garden in July 2009, on the grounds of Berry Mansion in Frankfort.  In addition to the garden in Louisville, the Governor’s Garden initiative has expanded to five other locations throughout the state in 2010: Hazard, Florence, Paducah, Bowling Green and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

The Governor’s Garden initiative was developed and is maintained in conjunction with the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

“As a former educator, Mrs. Beshear likes to lead by example and through the Governor’s Garden initiative, she will travel to all corners of the state teaching Kentuckians how to live more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyles,” Sec. Miller said.

“First Lady Beshear’s Governor’s Garden is another great example of the wonderful partnerships established between the restaurateur, Kentucky farmers and consumer alike,” said Dean Corbett, chef and owner of Louisville restaurants Equus and

Corbett’s — An American Place.  “We are blessed in this state to have so many great restaurants participating in farm-to-table initiatives.”

Most of the produce harvested from the garden will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul’s Open Hand Kitchen.  St. Vincent de Paul is a nonprofit charitable organization that has been serving the poor in Louisville, central Kentucky and southern Indiana for 157 years. Its homeless shelters, supportive housing programs and case management services are designed to help people who have fallen on hard times get back on their feet and lead independent lives. The Open Hand Kitchen serves two free meals a day, 365 days a year, to anyone in need.

For more information about the Governor’s Garden and the Green Team, visit

To learn more about St. Vincent de Paul or for information on how you can make a donation, please call (502) 583-8158 or go online to