Shepherd Hirtz, Teen Board Member
Memorial High School - Houston, Texas
Teen Board Member 2021 - Present
Shepherd is a sophomore at Memorial High School. He is an avid outdoorsman spending time bay fishing, and riding dirt bikes. He is a skilled woodworker crafting custom-made pens and bowls on a lathe. Shepherd enjoys playing the piano and is learning how to play the banjo. He is involved at his church and participates in youth group activities and communities in need. Shepherd is a Congenital Heart Defect survivor. He has a vested interest in making other kids' lives better by leading as a mentor and advocate who understands firsthand many of the trials that pediatric heart patients endure.
Gardening: A great way to boost nutrition and stay active!
At the beginning of the pandemic, my mom and I built a garden from the ground up. It first started to make sure we’d have food during supply shortages, but over the past two years the garden has evolved into something that we didn’t anticipate. I never realized how much work goes into growing your own food at home. Just preparing the beds requires a tremendous amount of planning and physical labor (exercise). The beds need to be weeded weekly and you constantly must be on the lookout for pests: insects, squirrels, birds and even your own pets! With the proper care and nourishment, it will provide you with an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables. Much like the garden, our bodies flourish when they are treated the same way. With proper care and nourishment, we grow and stay healthy. One of my favorite things to make from our garden are tomato caprese stacks. The ingredients you need are thin crackers of any type, Cherry tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil, and Balsamic vinaigrette to taste. Take your fresh cherry tomatoes and slice them into thin rings. Lay your crackers out on your serving dish, then lay thin pieces of mozzarella on top. Add the slices of tomato then sprinkle on some fresh torn basil. Before serving add a dash of balsamic vinaigrette and voila, you have a finished snack. This recipe is not only simple, but it is nutritious and very refreshing as well.
You don’t need a big garden to grow your own food, you can use simple pots or planters. Above ground planters allow for quick maintenance and easy transportation as well. Keeping a garden is a great year-round activity that keeps you fed, active and healthy and as a bonus, it's a great conversation starter during summer gatherings.