Trackside Teen Center has created two programs being offered to teens and both might help them expand their culinary horizon.

For both programs, more information and registration can be found on the Trackside website, or contact Trackside program director Amy Nassef by phone at 203.834.2888 or via email.

Green Teens Program Returns to Trackside Neighborhood Gardens

Middle school students are invited to join the Green Teens program hosted by Wilton Youth Services, the Wilton Garden Club, and Trackside Teen Center. Beginning May 4, students currently enrolled in grades 5-8 will work together to design garden beds, plant, maintain and harvest produce, and learn how to cook garden vegetables. Produce grown by the Green Teens program will be donated to the Wilton Food Pantry.

Under the direction of experienced gardeners from the Wilton Garden Club, Green Teens will meet at the gardens at Trackside on Wednesdays from 3:30-5 p.m. from May 4 to June 8. Friends and family of youth involved with the Green Teens program will also have an opportunity to volunteer over the summer months to maintain the Green Teens gardens. Registration is free and can be completed online.

Ann Collis, Sarah Gioffre, and Pam Nobumoto of the Wilton Garden Club are coordinating the Green Teens program with support from Jim Hunter of the Wilton High School Organic Garden and Jonathan Kirschner of Ambler Farm. Both organizations will be donating seedlings to the Green Teens program. Boy Scout Troop 20 will also be organizing the design, construction and installation of additional raised garden beds and compost bins.

Trackside Teen Center’s Neighborhood Garden was originally built by Girl Scout Karina Olsen for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project in 2011. Olsen grew vegetables and flowers with other Wilton High School students at the garden for many years which were donated to the Wilton Food Pantry. In the spring of 2015, Steven Batter and Nicholas Johnson of Boy Scout Troop 20 designed, constructed, and installed new raised beds and a tool shed at the garden for their Eagle Scout projects. The Green Teens program was launched shortly after with over 25 youth planting and tending the gardens in the spring and summer months producing over 30 pounds of produce for the Wilton Food Pantry.

Global Foods Cooking Class

The final cooking class of the school year is coming to Trackside Teen Center. Amy Bien, culinary arts teacher at Fairfield Warde High School, will teach a special class on Global Foods. Students will learn how to prepare dishes from all over the world to get a taste of different cultures including Italian, French, Japanese, Mexican, and Chinese cuisine.

Bien, born and raised in Wilton, currently lives in Norwalk and teaches in the Family and Consumer Sciences department at Fairfield Warde High School. In her role there, she teaches courses in fashion merchandising, introduction to culinary arts, baking and pastry, and global foods.

The Global Foods cooking class will meet at Trackside Teen Center on Wednesdays from April 27 to May 25 from 4-5:30 p.m.. The student fee of $300 will cover all supplies and ingredients for the course, as well as the special foods students will take home with them after each class session. Class size is limited, so students are encourage to register as soon as possible.