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Minneapolis plants fresh vegetables symbolizing school lunch makeover
Monday, June 02, 2014 11:10 AM

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Ricardo Abbott plants jalapeƱo peppers along with other vegetables and herbs in the Nutrition Center garden
Seedlings at the Culinary Center represent a new approach for more nutritious, local meal options
 
Bertrand Weber sensed skepticism in the nutrition department of the Minneapolis schools when he took over in early 2012, preaching the gospel of feeding students fresh, minimally prepared and nutritious food.
 
But on a windy Friday in the high 80s Weber found himself joined by a dozen co-workers, from interns to his top managers, planting a demonstration garden on what used to be a weedy front yard of the district’s Culinary Center on Plymouth Avenue. Donated seedlings ranging from Italian kale to Big Zebra tomatoes took their place in the freshly tilled and composted plot.
 
The 2,500-square-foot garden is intended to make visible the nutritional changes taking place under Weber. He’s pushed the district from a factory model of prepackaged breakfasts and lunches toward fresh, local foods students actually like. But the workers who were planting alongside him Friday made it clear that they’ve been changed by their new mission as well...READ MORE
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Michele Carroll along with coworkers and volunteers get their hands dirty in the garden