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Backbeat Jazzfest…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Join us for the Brass-A-Holics. more

Backbeat Jazzfest…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Please join us for live music. more

Backbeat Jazzfest…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Join us for Johnny Sketch and The Dirty Notes. more

Blue Nile Presents…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Come join us for the Soul Rebels Brass Band. The Soul Rebels started with an… more

Edgar Degas: The…

Apr 25 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

EN MAS’: Carnival and…

Apr 25 - Jun 7, 2015
Curated by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, EN MAS': Carnival and Performance… more

ETCHYNPÜFE Group Show…

Apr 25 - May 31, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to host ETCHYNPÜFE, a group show… more

Feral Cat TNR...The…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Join us for the Feral Cat TNR...The Basics and Beyond Workshop, sponsored by… more

Feral Cat TNR…The…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Feral Cat TNR...The Basics and Beyond Workshop, sponsored by the LA/SPCA will… more

FOUR VOICES at the…

Apr 25 - May 24, 2015
The Garden District Gallery is pleased to present FOUR VOICES featuring… more

Freret Street Publiq…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Enjoy live music by Givers.   more

Hotel Monteleone …

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Jazzy Jam gives Carousel Bar and Lounge patrons a place to relax and unwind… more

Irvin Mayfield and…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Join us for the first public, ticketed concert at the Peoples Health New… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Apr 25 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

JPAS Presents The…

Apr 25 - 26, 2015
For decades, renowned advice columnist Ann Landers answered countless letters… more

Kinder Garden - Play,…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Kinder Garden for kids ages 18 months to 5 years has moved to the last Saturday… more

M.S. Rau Antiques…

Apr 25 - May 4, 2015
Long established and leading art, antiques and jewelry specialist M.S. Rau… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Join us at the Maple Leaf Bar for the  New Orleans Suspects 2nd Annual… more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Apr 25 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

Neighborhood Pet…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
 Neighborhood Pet Adoption & Bake Sale, sponsored by the Louisiana… more

Backbeat Jazzfest…

Apr 25 - 25, 2015
Join us for the Brass-A-Holics. 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.