The White House garden

On the South Lawn of the White House just over a year ago, 10-year-old Endya Colbert dangled a worm directly in front of Michelle Obama’s face. Endya’s mother, Chala Colbert, has a photograph to prove it.

It was a brisk day for the first lady’s final spring planting, but Endya, whose elementary school in New Orleans offers a gardening program, assured Michelle — yes, the student felt certain they were on a first-name basis — that the worm was a sign of healthy soil.

The current first lady, Melania Trump, is settling into the White House and has yet to officially embrace her predecessor’s seasonal ritual: leaving the White House — often at a sprint — waving toward a crowd of miniature green thumbs, all of them in sneakers soon to be matted with mulch.

Some supporters of the White House Kitchen Garden — the 2,800-square-foot foundation of Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to reduce childhood obesity — have expressed doubts that the vegetable patch could weather a blustery presidential transition.

The Trump administration has already taken direct aim at the previous administration’s nutrition agenda by rolling back the school meal standards of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. President Trump’s budget proposals have included reduced funding for food stamps, Meals on Wheels and after-school programs that feed children, citing a lack of demonstrable evidence that such programs are effective.

The White House garden “made such a positive impact on low-income students — on how they view themselves,” Mrs. Colbert said after her daughter had returned to the White House two months later to harvest and cook vegetables with Mrs. Obama’s friend Rachael. (Yes, Rachael Ray, the celebrity chef and talk show host.) “Many of them don’t see vegetables in their daily meals, but Endya came back with all these healthy recipe ideas that I didn’t even know how to make!”

Sam Kass, the former executive director of the Let’s Move! campaign and former White House chef, said sowing those habits was what Mrs. Obama’s initiative — and the garden itself — was all about.

“She was quite serious, always, about delivering real results, about making it easier for families to raise healthy kids,” Mr. Kass said. “You saw her out there, digging and planting, chopping and eating with the kids — it kept us grounded in those principles.”

In the physical and financial sense, the garden’s preservation is guaranteed. In October 2016, W. Atlee Burpee & Company and the Burpee Foundation, its philanthropic counterpart, jointly donated $2.5 million to the National Park Foundation to ensure care for the plot for years to come.

According to Mrs. Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, the White House kitchen will cook with the homegrown vegetables and will donate the remaining harvest to charity. Ms. Grisham also said that the Trump family planned to continue the educational nature of the garden.

But the White House’s June harvest was carried out solely by the National Park Service, and administrators at the local Bancroft and Tubman schools, whose students frequented the garden over the last eight years, said they had not been invited back since the transition.