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Upcoming Events

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A Louisiana Parlor:…

Sep 4 - Oct 11, 2015
This exhibition is in celebration of the acquisition of a superb Rococo Revival… more

Elegua Dance & Drum…

Sep 4 - 4, 2015
Join us for a concert featuring Elegua. Elegua, the internationally renowned… more

Elegua Dance & Drum…

Sep 4 - 4, 2015
Elegua, the internationally renowned women's percussion ensemble from… more

House of Blues…

Sep 4 - 4, 2015
It's Hot Out The Pot in our courtyard every Friday from 5-8pm with a Shrimp… more

Legendary Musicians…

Sep 4 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Longue Vue House and…

Sep 4 - Oct 11, 2015
For the 10th Anniversary of the storm, Longue Vue will commemorate the revival… more

Louisiana Seafood…

Sep 4 - 6, 2015
From our waters to your plate, the Louisiana Seafood Festival is a celebration… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Sep 4 - 7, 2015
Ten Years Gone brings together six artists whose work engages with the broad… more

NOBA Hosts…

Sep 4 - 26, 2015
The New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) in partnership with Chalmette… more

NOBA's tuition-free…

Sep 4 - 25, 2015
Beginning this weekend, the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance, along with other NOBA… more

Smoothie King Center…

Sep 4 - 4, 2015
Iconic rock band Mötley Crüe will mark the end of their touring… more

Southern Decadence…

Sep 4 - 7, 2015
Southern Decadence started  as a simple going-away party. As a top… more

The Foundation…

Sep 4 - 4, 2015
Join us at the Foundation Gallery for the opening reception House: Group… more

The Foundation…

Sep 4 - Oct 30, 2015
Join us at the Foundation Gallery for  House: Group Exhibition with Andrew… more

The Historic New…

Sep 04, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Irish House -…

Sep 4 - 4, 2015
Join us at the Irish House for Marshall Baker. more

The Katrina Decade:…

Sep 04, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Quickening

Sep 4 - 4, 2015
Join us for live entertainment  at the Maple Leaf Bar featuring The… more

The Sweat Social…

Sep 4 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Sep 5 - Oct 4, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

A Louisiana Parlor:…

Sep 4 - Oct 11, 2015
This exhibition is in celebration of the acquisition of a superb Rococo Revival… more

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Announces Partnership to Build Innovative Food and Farming Center On Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Marianne Cufone, Executive Director
Recirculating Farms Coalition
Phone: 813.785.8386
Email: info@recirculatingfarms.org

Sanjay Kharod, Executive Director
New Orleans Food and Farm Network:
Phone: 504.483.6967
Email: info@noffn.org

MCCNO Communications Department
Phone: 504.582.3027
E-mail: comm@mccno.com

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Announces Partnership to Build Innovative Food and Farming Center On Site


In honor of National Food Day, a time to champion affordable, healthy and sustainable food, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center announced a partnership with the Recirculating Farms Coalition and the New Orleans Food and Farm Network to create a urban food and farming center on 2.5 acres of land owned by the Convention Center, at the corner of Melpomene Street and Tchoupitoulas. The new center, named Growing Local NOLA, will be a hub for research, education, training, and community interaction on growing, marketing, and preparing healthy, fresh food.

"We are thrilled to host the new food and farm center on our site," said Bob Johnson, president/general manager of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. "This is an incredibly meaningful project that will showcase cutting edge urban farming methods and provide unique classes and activities for our community, as well as convention attendees and others visiting from all around the world."

The core of the new center is to be an innovative water-based recirculating farm that uses hydroponics - growing plants in nutrient-rich constantly recycled water - and aquaponics - raising fish and plants together in one closed-loop system. Both methods are ideal for cities because they can grow a wide range of plants and fish on rooftops, or on oddly shaped or even paved lots, producing high yields in a small amount of space. The center will also have a community garden - with raised soil beds and fruit trees - a classroom, teaching kitchen, events space, and eventually, an on-site café serving farm to table local fare.

"This center will be a catalyst for personal and community farms and local food here in New Orleans and beyond," said Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition.

While New Orleans is famous for its unique cuisine, fresh healthy food is not always accessible and affordable for everyone. Louisiana has the second highest obesity rate in the country and with just over 20 grocery stores to serve more than 350,000 residents, New Orleans is one of the worst food deserts. The new center will help to change this.

The center's farm will source fresh food to local distributors, restaurants and grocers, as well as direct to consumers through an on-site farmers' market. It will also offer a wide range of gardening, farming, and farm-to-table cooking classes, programs for youth and seniors, and demonstrations, lectures, and presentations. The center will host special events too, such as harvest dinners and private parties, at its new Convention Center space.

Sanjay Kharod, Executive Director of the New Orleans Food and Farm Network, explained, "This center is all about inspiring people to grow healthy fresh food for themselves and for sale at affordable prices to their neighbors and communities, creating green jobs and preparing delicious, nutritious meals."

Growing Local NOLA will be built using grants from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and the Claneil Foundation. In addition to funding, the project has drawn much praise, enthusiasm and in-kind support.

"The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is excited about the creation of this food and farming center," said Commissioner Mike Strain. "We plan to work collaboratively with the Recirculating Farms Coalition, New Orleans Food and Farm Network and Convention Center on this important project."

The Tulane City Center and the Louisiana State University (LSU) Urban Landscape Lab are both providing in-kind support by designing a masterplan for the food and farm center. Tulane Assistant Professor of Architecture Tiffany Lin and LSU Professor of Landscape Architecture Elizabeth Mossop are leading the project.

Lin said, "Our experienced professional team is working collaboratively to showcase the inspiring green mission of this urban farm. By using recycled materials and renewable energy sources, we hope to create an innovative design solution that is natural, efficient and welcoming."

"This Center is an amazing collaborative effort that will support sustainable urban farming and healthy eating and lifestyles," Cufone said.

Plans for a groundbreaking ceremony are underway and expected to be announced in the coming weeks.