WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and students from Bancroft Elementary School here planted the first fruits and vegetables in the new White House garden this month, and news of similar gardens being planted by first ladies of various states and municipalities has been sprouting left and right. Shelley Balanko, vice president of ethnographic research, The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash., said gardening is a way to connect with community. “It's a way ...

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