It was with a sigh of relief that gardeners and nutritionists heard the news that the new First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, planned to keep the White House Vegetable Garden that was a roaring success under Michelle Obama’s tillage.
But what flavour the garden takes on has been the subject of much speculation, with the competing forces of much of the Trump family’s Eastern European heritage and Trump’s own declaration that he would serve Big Macs at state dinners making the garden’s future produce difficult to predict.
Menalia Trump’s Slovenian background includes plants breeders and many a vegetable gardener, leading to speculation that the garden will take on a distinctly Eastern European bent.
While defence spending under Trump has already jumped 9 %, some $US54 billion, and the sabre rattling has begun with the dropping of the Mother Of All Bombs in Afghanistan, will Melania channel family traditions, breeding and planting vegetables on the White House lawn?
The Mother Of All Beets, anyone?
Former president, Barack Obama, famously disliked beetroot, so they never found their way into the White House plot. But you can’t make borscht without it, leading to a well-founded expectation that rows of corn and collards will soon give way to rows of hearty, Eastern European root crops.
The sole sponsor of the White House plot, W. Atlee Burpee Company, is brimming with anticipation at the changes. Says chairman and CEO George Ball:
“In home gardening, the contents of the garden usually reflect soil and climatic conditions to some extent, as well as what the planter likes to eat. The big question in my mind is whether beets will finally make it into the garden.”
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, perhaps a bevy of beets might help to smooth relations between the US and Russia if President Valdimir Putin visits the White House in the coming years?