Garden Fest treats visitors to food, fun

Richard Bogren, Kuehny, Jeff S.

LSU AgCenter vegetable specialist Kiki Fontenot talks about tomatoes with Johnny Naylor of Naylor’s Hardware and Garden Center, which provided some of the plants featured in the trial gardens. (Photo by Rick Bogren, LSU AgCenter)

Children visiting the 2015 Garden Fest at the LSU Botanic Gardens at Burden enjoyed the water slide, which provided welcome relief from the June heat. (Photo by Rick Bogren, LSU AgCenter)

Companies from the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator displayed their wares and sold products in the pavilion at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden during the 2015 Garden Fest. (Photo by Rick Bogren, LSU AgCenter)

News Release Distributed 06/24/15

BATON ROUGE, La. – More than 730 people braved the heat and humidity of a Louisiana June day to attend the fourth annual Garden Fest at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden on June 20.

“We had a great turnout,” said Jeff Kuehny, resident director of the Botanic Gardens. “We continue to increase the number of families of all ages.”

The main emphasis of the Garden Fest was to show people how they can grow their own produce, use it in their own kitchens and find Louisiana food products to supplement their recipes, Kuehny said.

“We had produce from the gardens and local growers, student chefs from the Louisiana Culinary Institute and several tenants from the AgCenter Food Incubator,” he said. “The incubator tenants had their best day ever.”

The event included a trip to the garden where visitors saw AgCenter field trials of about 100 vegetable varieties and taste tested tomatoes and peppers.

“Participants really enjoy this event because it represents so many different facets of Louisiana agriculture, especially the taste testing in the field and the food demonstration from the Louisiana Culinary Institute, which partners with us for this event every year,” Kuehny said.

More than 120 youngsters visited the gardens, and many enjoyed the water slide, which was a new feature this year.

Along with commercial vendors, event participants included the Burden Horticulture Society, Herb Society, Bonsai Society and Camellia Society. The East Baton Rouge Master Gardeners and Raj Singh from the LSU AgCenter Plant Health Clinic provided information and answered questions about plants.

Garden Fest sponsors were the Louisiana Culinary Institute, the Louisiana Egg Commission, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health Systems, Naylor's Hardware and Garden Center, Doug Olinde Tents, Mason’s Grill, Capitol City Produce, Community Coffee and Re:Invent Your Meal.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support research and extension programs conducted at Burden, Kuehny said. Garden Fest 2016 is scheduled for June 18.

Rick Bogren
6/24/2015 9:54:21 PM
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