New Kitchen and Cutting Garden opens at the Tennessee Residence

The Governor’s home in Nashville has a new Kitchen and Cutting Garden, thanks to First Lady Crissy Haslam.

The new garden will help to promote state agriculture and encourage healthy farm-to-table eating habits among children and their families. As chair of the Tennessee Executive Residence and Preservation Foundation, Haslam worked to generate funds for the landscape renovation project, which is ongoing. The cutting garden was completed in July.

Other programs stemming from the First Lady’s Office also have ties to the garden. The Read20 Family Book Club initiative, which encourages families to read together for at least 20 minutes every day, has chosen Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens for the September Book of the Month. This funny folktale sets the stage for learning about growing your own vegetables.

Last week, about 60 third-grade students from Crieve Hall Elementary School in Nashville joined the First Lady in the garden to read the book and discuss seeds, gardening, science, and healthy eating. Following the reading, the students were treated to a guided tour of the Tennessee Residence, a farm-to-table cooking lesson with Residence Chef Stephen Ward, and an opportunity to plant the first vegetables in the new garden.

Scripps Networks Interactive, one of the garden sponsors, has put together a Tennessee Residence Garden Guide for children to learn all about gardening.

The guide is filled with activities that can be used during your visit, back home, and in the classroom. You'll learn Tennessee gardeners have three growing periods for planting early, mid, and late-season crops, and you can even try out a pizza recipe from the first lady's chef.

“The Kitchen and Cutting Garden is an asset to share Tennessee traditions in agriculture and home garden with students and visitors from across the state and country,” says Haslam.

Tours of the garden are available. Schedule a visit by going to the Tennessee Residence website. For a copy of the Tennessee Residence Garden Guide, click on this link and go to “Get the Garden Guide.”

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