Chopped Chef tours Albany Boys & Girls Club garden - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Chopped Chef tours Albany Boys & Girls Club garden

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A group of kids in an after-school program got the chance to show off some of the fresh fruits and vegetables they've grown over the year to a celebrity chef Thursday afternoon. 

Food Network Chopped winner, Airis Johnson, toured the Albany Boys & Girls Club Holloway unit's community garden.

"The mints are really good, the mints are really good," said a Boys & Girls Club member. "I tried one." 

Eating those bright green vegetables are usually the last thing kids want to try. 

But after tasting mint leaves, Boys & Girls Club Member Karmen Malone said, "Mint is like, it tastes good, actually."

Malone, who is 10-years-old, is thinking twice about eating her veggies.t eating her veggies.

"You want to be healthy and when you go to the doctor you want them to tell you good things," said Malone. 

Albany Tech teamed up with the Boys & Girls Club to create a luscious garden, The Healthy Place. 

"When you pollinate flowers on vegetables and things, it makes it grow bigger, yes they do," said Albany Tech Culinary Arts Chair Chef Todd White.

For the past year and a half, Albany Tech's Chef Todd White has been teaching the kids how to plant.

"Getting them to be able to enjoy this process and grow their own food, they're more likely to eat that food," said White.

And they do. All of the food becomes a healthy snack at the club.

Greens and kale are the latest crops to sprout.

"Hopefully they're sharing that with their families because we know in Southwest Georgia there's a huge problem, early onset adolescent diabetes and obesity,"  said Albany Boys & Girls Club CEO Marvin Laster.

Staff members are breaking down those health barriers one plant at a time. 

"I didn't know you can get butterflies on the trees and it help it," said Malone. "Strawberries grow close to the ground like these leaves right here."

Airis Johnson was thrilled about The Healthy Place. 

"The way the kids are so interested in what's being grown, and they want to taste everything," said Johnson. "I think it's wonderful."

White hopes the Boys & Girls Club's Healthy Place turns into a community garden for everyone to plant fruits and vegetables. 

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