First lady going all-out to preserve White House garden

2016-10-06 05:38
A new paver at the entrance to the White House Kitchen Garden. (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)

A new paver at the entrance to the White House Kitchen Garden. (Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Memo.

From: Michelle Obama

To: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Subject: Don't mess with the garden.

There's no actual memo, but First Lady Michelle Obama is going all-out to make sure the White House kitchen garden that she created in 2009 and expanded twice doesn't get ploughed under by the next first family.

With less than four months left in the Obama administration, the first lady on on Wednesday was unveiling an expanded and improved garden with the hope that it will endure regardless of who takes office come January.

The garden's size has grown from an original 102m² to 260m². It has a new wooden arbour for an entrance, wider blue stone walkways, wooden tables and benches.

There's even an inscribed stone that reads: "White House Kitchen Garden, established in 2009 by First Lady Michelle Obama with the hope of growing a healthier nation for our children."

This patch of raised beds is much more than a garden to Mrs Obama: It's her legacy, at the heart of her years-long quest to fight childhood obesity and promote healthier living.

School students will join the first lady on Thursday for the Obamas' final fall harvest, bringing in eggplant, okra, tomatoes, herbs and much more. Then, in coming weeks, the beds will be covered with plastic hoop houses to allow vegetables such as broccoli, kale and collard greens to grow right through the winter - and into the next administration.

Much as the first lady wants to see the garden endure, the next first family can decide whether to keep it or go in a different direction.

Clinton into veggies, Trump not so much

Neither campaign responded to a request for comment on what a Trump or Clinton administration might do with the kitchen garden.

But it's fair to speculate that it might be a higher priority for Clinton than Trump.

Clinton is known for eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Trump, not so much.

As first lady, Clinton directed chef Walter Scheib to bring "contemporary American cuisine and nutritionally responsible food to the White House", Scheib later wrote. There was even a small garden on the White House roof for growing produce, according to Scheib, who died in 2015.

Trump, for his part, loves red meat and is proud to patronise McDonald's and KFC.

What started for Mrs Obama as a fairly simple kitchen garden in 2009 grew into her broader Let's Move initiative to promote healthy eating and habits.

Over the years, the garden has supplied fruits and vegetables for the first family, soup kitchens, guests at White House receptions and other events, even state dinners.

Students from around the country have helped with planting and harvesting, and 335 000 visitors have toured the garden over the years.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  michelle obama  |  hillary clinton  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.