Bill Clinton and Melania Trump have presumably shown their hands as non-gardeners – all clean fingernails and no secateur calluses – as US seed giant Burpee has announced a US$2.5 million gift to keep the famous White House Kitchen Garden going after the Obamas leave.
The current White House Kitchen Garden was installed by US First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn of the White House in 2009, re-establishing a long tradition of the White House growing its own fresh food. Although not originally a gardener, Michelle Obama was motivated to begin the garden by the nutritional needs of her own daughters for fresh fruit and vegetables and she has used the garden in her work promoting healthy eating and lifestyles, especially to children.
The gift from Burpee will enable the National Park Foundation (NPF) to preserve the garden and to cover its maintenance costs. Says Burpee CEO George Ball:
“Everyone at Burpee is proud of the First Lady’s ‘Can-Do!’ attitude and we hope that a well-conceived long-lasting version of The White House Kitchen Garden will be fully supported by ensuing Administrations for so long as The White House serves as the residence for The President of the United States.”
Whichever Presidential candidate wins, I’m thinking we’re unlikely to see either Bill or Melania hoeing and growing any time soon.