On April 9, young men sat in a Xavier University meeting room, to let their taste buds try something new. They were a part of a new campaign “Healthy Eats” led by Xavier’s community garden, Agrowtopia. Members from the garden taught the boys how to make healthy food taste delicious.

The students in attendance, belonged to the organization, 100 Black Men of New Orleans. Argowtopia gardeners taught the students about vegetables, and how to make healthy food taste good. The students tried three different types of dishes  Zucchini and Apple Salad, Cold Slaw, and Vegetable Salad. Then, The kids voted on which dishes were their favorite. Zucchini and Apple Salad took the gold.

Agrowtopia was a garden created by Xavier students in 2015. It was their idea to create a garden in the Gert Town community because of the lack of access to healthy food.

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Founding faculty member of Agrowtopia, professor ur Mark Quinn, believe that events like “Healthy Eats” will change the way kids think about vegetables. “This was the first time we offered ‘Healthy Eats’ to children and not adults,” he said.

“It is important to get at their eating habits when they are younger, so that they know there is more than just hamburgers and fries,” Quinn said.

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Dr. Mark Quinn Addresses “Healthy Eats students” 
Indeed, the students walked away with a new opinion on vegetables. Jason Merckedel, a student at Lake Forest Charter school said,

“Eating healthy is important because you can lose weight and live longer.”

Jaden Simmons, a students at Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology school, also learned that eating vegetables could improve a person’s health. However, he realized that this opportunity would not be possible, if Gert Town did not have a garden.

“Community gardens are important because they bring the community together,” Simmons said.

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Jaden Simmons Eats “Healthy Eats Dish”
Recently, the Gert Town community approached Quinn in hope that the garden could extend their hours. “We are addressing that,” he said. “Neighbors like the fact that it is not a vacant lot anymore. Now they like seeing a farm.

We are looking forward to seeing happier neighbors in a few weeks.”


Good work Xavier students! 

Visit Agrowtopia’s Website Here.



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