by Rebecca Aguilar

Woodlawn’s Pro-start is starting a vegetable garden. It is the first time Chef Oubre and his students will have a vegetable garden at Woodlawn High.

Pro-Start is working to keep this garden year round; that means they are going to replant the garden two, three, or more times a year. Right now, winter vegetables are going to be planted; this includes cabbage, broccoli, carrots, pole beans, collard greens, etc. Most of the plants typically take 6-8 weeks to grow, and if the weather stays good, it is more likely the first vegetables are going to be ready for late November.

So what are they going to do with these vegetables? Chef Oubre is planning to incorporate them into the class. The students who are involved with Pro-Start are going to be able to take some vegetables home and cook something during the weekend. Chef Oubre said this will only happen if no one tries to steal or damage the vegetables, and if they actually grow.

If you are asking yourself how Chef Oubre is able to do this, Angello’s landscaping company is donating wood, a special soil mixture that helps vegetables grow, and other materials. It is very important because what Chef Oubre is trying to do is let students go outside the classroom and have ownership of something. He hopes students are going to be able to try new things, try something healthy, because what students usually eat is junk food and candy.

The students right now are getting ready to start a real meal diet, which is a diet based on fresh vegetables and meat; they are also getting ready for the Hot Food Competition. This competition is in March, where if the students win 1st place, are going to win a scholarship of $40,000 dollars per person, but each team can only have four students and one adult. One part is the Hot Food Competition where the students have to cook and the second part is in a restaurant; if the students win the state competition in March, they get to go to Dallas for the national competition. The vegetables grown in the garden will help support their practice for this competition. Good luck with the vegetable garden and the competition!