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Upcoming Events

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“Awash with Color:…

May 6 - 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 6 - 6, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Allstar Band ft.… more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 6 - 6, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Allstars Band ft.… more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 6 - 6, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for Marc Stone Band. more

David Hansen's Garden…

May 06, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Free Admission to…

May 6 - 6, 2016
Free admission to the gardens at Longue Vue as part of the National Public… more

French Ciné-Club

May 06, 2016
All films are shown in French with English subtitles See the progran online:… more

Friday: First Friday…

May 6 - Dec 2, 2016
As part of its ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations, THNOC is offering First… more

House of Blues…

May 6 - Dec 30, 2016
Every Friday join us in the Voodoo Garden for live music, beer and drink… more

How To Succeed In…

May 6 - 22, 2016
Big business means big laughs in this delightfully clever lampoon of life on… more

Jazz in the Park's…

May 6 - 8, 2016
Join us for  Jazz in the Park first annual Treme Art and Music Fest. The… more

New Orleans Photo…

May 6 - 29, 2016
The New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), is proud to be the first venue to … more

Paul Rodriguez &…

May 6 - 6, 2016
Orpheum Theater Presents: Paul Rodriguez & Latin Kings of Comedy more

The Historic New…

May 6 - 7, 2016
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, The Historic New… more

Whitney Zoo to Do

May 6 - 6, 2016
It's time to party under the oaks at the annual Whitney Zoo-To-Do. New… more

5th Annual Crawfish…

May 7 - 7, 2016
New Orleans’ largest crawfish cook-off offers all-you-can-eat crawfish… more

6th Annual Magazine…

May 7 - 7, 2016
Magazine Street Merchants Association in conjunction with First NBC Bank, is… more

Backyard Grooves

May 07, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 7 - 7, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Allstars ft. Larry… more

BB King's Blues Club…

May 7 - 7, 2016
Join us at the BB King's Blues Club New Orleans for BB King Allstar Band ft.… more

“Awash with Color:…

May 6 - 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… 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.