What Will Happen to Michelle Obama's White House Garden?
As the White House takes its first steps towards transitioning the imminent Donald Trump administration, there are a few logistical questions that remain to be answered about its grounds: namely, the fate of Michelle Obama's vegetable garden.
The garden provides fruits and vegetables for White House events as well as supplementing local non-profits with its extra harvests. Luckily, Mrs. Obama took steps earlier this fall to make sure the future of her garden remained intact. In October, she secured $2.4 million in private funding, and the National Park Service will be looking after the patch of green after the Obamas leave office—that is, unless the Trumps decide to dig it up (which, apparently, they are well within their rights to do).
"I take great pride in knowing that this little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes and dreams we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children," Mrs. Obama said at an event in October. "I am hopeful that future first families will cherish this garden like we have."
While we have some trouble imagining the incoming first lady, Melania Trump, taking an active interest in tilling land and growing vegetables, it's great news that the Obamas' garden's future is secure. Vegetable gardens a longtime White House tradition—the first was planted by John and Abigail Adams in 1800, who preferred to grow their own fruits and vegetables rather than buying them at the store. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Franklin Roosevelt also cultivated White House gardens while in office.
First Lady Michelle Obama's 1,100 square foot vegetable garden was planted in 2009 on the White House's South Lawn and grows arugula, cilantro, tomatillo, hot peppers, spinach, chard, collards, black kale, berries, lettuce, anise hyssop, and Thai basil. It broke ground in March that year with the help of teachers and students from a local school and, to this day, continues to work with the community, donating some of its 2,000 pounds of produce each year to local organizations.