WASHINGTON • Mrs Melania Trump made her first foray into the White House's vegetable garden last Friday, following in the footsteps of its creator and her predecessor, Mrs Michelle Obama.
Dressed down in jeans, a plaid shirt and red gardening gloves, she harvested and planted fresh produce alongside a dozen 11-year-old and 12-year-old children.
"Thank you for coming and helping me to harvest," she told the children, who tended vegetables including lettuce, radishes, carrots and turnips.
The immaculate White House Kitchen Garden was established in 2009 by Mrs Obama as part of her work fighting childhood obesity.
She regularly held events in the garden and wrote her first book, American Grown, about her experience of planting.
Mrs Obama's campaigns advocating healthy living and fresh foods became an unlikely partisan flashpoint, mocked in some conservative circles, and whether her garden would endure in future administrations was an open question.
Mrs Trump, suggesting she is keen to continue Mrs Obama's work, said: "Healthy, nurturing and positive environments are instrumental in enhancing the well-being and mindfulness of all children."
She added that the garden is "a prime example of how children can enjoy the outdoors and learn about healthy eating and living".
She later gave each child a White House-branded gardening kit.
The vegetable garden is the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's 1943 "victory garden".
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WASHINGTON POST