First Lady Melania Trump Promises to Preserve Michelle Obama's Vegetable Garden

First Lady Melania Trump Promises to Preserve Michelle Obama's Vegetable Garden

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Susmita Baral
Feb 16, 2017
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Baransi)

Michelle Obama's platform as First Lady was to get America to eat better. Her childhood obesity campaign entailed an array of projects from school nutrition reform to a cultivating a garden at the White House. Much has been speculated about the fate of the latter — the 2,800-square-foot vegetable garden located on the South Lawn — under a Trump presidency.

"Hopefully, there will be other administrations who come in and they take up this project and continue to make this a part of the White House tradition," Michelle said last April, prior to the election, CBS reported.

But it appears the garden may survive, after all. First Lady Melania Trump, who has not yet moved into the White House, has shared her intentions to preserve the garden.

"As a mother and as the First Lady of this country, Mrs. Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House gardens, specifically the First Lady's Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden," Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the First Lady's senior advisor, told CNN.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Baransi)

The garden, maintained by the National Parks Service, grows hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables each year. Produce from the garden is used for the meals for the first family and to feed guests of the White House, but the Washington Post reported that a bulk of it also goes to homeless shelters. Michelle started the garden in 2009 as part of her "Let's Move" initiative.

Last October, she expanded her garden and secured it with "cement, stone, and steel." She also announced $2.5 million in private donations have been allocated to maintain the garden.

"This garden has taught us that if we have the courage to plant a seed — to be brave enough to plant it, then take care of it, water it, tend to it, invite friends to help us take care of it, weather the storms that inevitably come ... if we have the courage to do that, then we never know what might grow," Michelle said. "Now, that's what this garden has taught me, to be fearless in those efforts, to try new things, to not be afraid to mess up — things we tell our kids all the time."

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