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Chef Traci Trains Teens with Summertime Produce

As students across the Greater Baton Rouge Area prepare for summer vacation, students at Capitol High School were preparing something a little bit different.

In October 2020, in collaboration with Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s Geaux Get Healthy initiative, Baton Roots broke ground on a half-acre urban garden on Capitol High School’s campus. The Capitol High garden now serves as a hub for fresh produce in N. Baton Rouge while providing students with hands-on agriculture experience through the Baton Roots youth training program. Hustle and Grow, led by Baton Roots staff, provides youth at three N. Baton Rouge high schools - Capitol High, Glen Oaks High, and Scotlandville High - with the opportunity to develop leadership, business, and agriculture skills while advancing their knowledge of and access to healthy eating practices.

On April 27th, Chef Traci Vincent of the Louisiana Culinary Institute joined American Heart Association Community Impact Director Chelsea Morgan to lead a cooking demonstration for Capitol High students. A little over twenty students participated in the on-campus session. Chef Traci demonstrated kitchen knife safety as she led students in preparing heart healthy recipes of roasted and sautéed zucchini, roasted potatoes and cooked-down collard greens right from the Capitol High garden. Students eagerly followed along, asking questions and, of course, enjoying plenty of taste tests.

Through demonstrations like these, students are given the tools to prepare and bring fresh, nutritious meals home with them. Interested in heart healthy cooking? Check out the AHA recipe resource webpage and be sure to volunteer at one of Baton Root’s several farm locations to pick up some fresh veggies for yourself while giving back to your community!

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