The summer growing season is in full swing, said Jeff Kuehny, director of the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden, and he said he hopes a new program, “What’s Cooking @ Burden,” will perfectly pair the AgCenter’s mission of promoting home gardening with the tools to make the produce they grow delicious.

“We’re partnering with Culinard (the Virginia College Culinary Institute) in Baton Rouge to put on a series of cooking classes at the gardens for all ages,” Kuehny said.

The series will begin with Kids Cooking, a cooking class for children ages 8 to 13 that will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the center, 4560 Essen Lane.

The class allows beginners in the kitchen to learn their way around the food-making process, Kuehny said, and is designed to give young students the skills they need to prepare a healthy, easy main dish and dessert.

Students will prepare garden pizzas made with fresh vegetables and fruit pizza as a sweet treat during the class for their lunch.

The cost per student is $10, Kuehny said, and space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended.

The summer series continues with July 31’s Picnic at the Pavilion, which Kuehny said brings together everything that’s quintessentially summer: outdoors, picnic blankets, music, food, fun and family.

For the $40 price tag, for adults, Burden will provide barbecue, beer, wine and music from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Burden, he said.

Patrons can bring a picnic blanket and basket with utensils, spread out on the lawn and Pavilion and enjoy the day, which will include summer games like badminton.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 158, of Walker, will bring its “monkey bridge,” a rope bridge obstacle course, for anyone to try out, Kuehny said.

“We’re really looking forward to this event,” he said. Kenny Acosta will headline the event.

Cost of entry for children ages 4 to 10 is $10, and children 3 and younger enter free.

The final What’s Cooking @ Burden treat will be all about moms and will include chef demonstrations, food and wine tastings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 12, Kuehny said.

“We’re hoping mothers will come out, relax and enjoy themselves at this event, called Mom’s Night Out,” he said.

The cost for this limited seating event is $25 per person.

For more information on this or any other AgCenter event, visit the center’s website at