First Lady Michelle Obama will invite school children to the annual fall harvest of the White House kitchen garden, despite the garden's vegetables rotting during the government shutdown.

A spokesman for the first lady said she will join Sesame Street’s Elmo and Rosita Oct. 30, along with healthy eating advocacy groups, to once again promote healthier foods for children.

Students from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland will participate in harvesting the White House garden, according to the spokesman.

Michelle Obama began the largest-ever White House garden in March 2009 to much fanfare. But the 1,500 square foot garden was not cared for during the government shutdown – which also revealed Michelle Obama’s lack of hands-on care for her own garden.

Some of the vegetables and herbs in the garden flourished during the government shutdown, such as okra, lettuce and artichokes, according to Eddie Gehman Kohan, who is the founder and executive editor of Obamafoodarama.

But many more fruits and vegetables rotted away, and the garden was overrun by squirrels and even a fox.

Mature plants are routinely placed in the garden to give it the appearance of being successful, but if that's the case, the children won't be picking actual White House garden plants.