89.9 WWNO University of New Orleans
Chrisean Mitchell shows me around the community garden in back of her Gentilly school.
“That’s Daisy’s chicken coop, and over here is China, Elizabeth, Sleepy, Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday’s coop. Daisy has her own coop, because when chickens are in a group, they pick that one chicken that they’re going to pick on, so Daisy has her own coop so she can kinda relax and not get beat on.”
Chrisean is in the fifth grade at Langston Hughes Academy, but her education in gardening has taken her all the way to college.
“When we go to Dillard we learn about different things,” says Daisy. “We up-pot, we learn about greenhouse effect. We learn about putting plants to germinate. And then we bring them back to our garden and put them in the ground.”
Nick Harris is director of Community Development Relations at Dillard University. “The Kids are learning all about fresh fruit and vegetables. And the reason for this is because this part of Gentilly was known as a food dessert.”
Along with their partners, like Chrisean’s school, Langston Hughes, Dillard’s Community Development arm is working to combat obesity, poor nutrition, and bad eating habits all over Gentilly.
“The kids come to Dillard University to learn about Botany and Biology from our students in Botany and Biology,” says Harris. “We have a greenhouse so we start the seeding process at Dillard. Once they get to a certain height or maturity, we bring them back over to Langston and we plant them.”
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