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Upcoming Events

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30 Americans

Apr 24 - Jun 15, 2014
30 Americans showcases works by many of the most important African American… more

Bootsy Collins

Apr 24 - 24, 2014
 Founding father of funk Bootsy Collins funks up The Joy Theater during… more

Crescent City…

Apr 24 - 24, 2014

Jazz in the Park

Apr 24 - Jun 5, 2014
The People United for Armstrong Park (PUfAP) is thrilled to unveil the lineup… more

Ogden After Hours-…

Apr 24 - 24, 2014
Ogden After Hours is the place to go on Thursday nights to to hear Southern… more

Slightly Stoopid

Apr 24 - 24, 2014
 Slightly Stoopid will be bringing their signature San Diego vibe to New… more

Slightly Stoopid with…

Apr 24 - 24, 2014
While it’s a rare commodity for a band to tour as consistently as… more

The Andrews Brothers

Apr 24 - 26, 2014
Mistaken identities, madcap comedy, romance and miscal treasures fill this… more

Zurich Classic

Apr 24 - 27, 2014
Golf fans will have a chance to support regional children's charities while… more

Brass & Glass

Apr 25 - 25, 2014
Join us for the third annual Brass & Glass the first weekend of Jazz Fest!… more

New Orleans Jazz &…

Apr 25 - May 5, 2014
Jazz Fest is the celebration of the unique culture and heritage of New Orleans… more

PINTS & PLAYS

Apr 25 - Nov 25, 2014
PINTS & PLAYS is a monthly play reading in the true spirit of New Orleans. … more

Audubon Aquarium of…

Apr 26 - 26, 2014
Audubon Aquarium will host Party for the Planet, with events including live… more

Flowtribe

Apr 26 - 26, 2014
Straight out of New Orleans and into your ear-holes, Flow Tribe brings the… more

Historic Saturday…

Apr 26 - Nov 22, 2014
One of the keys to understanding NOLA’s past, present, and future is to… more

MOGWAI + Majeure

Apr 26 - 26, 2014
Must be 18 or older with Proper ID MOGWAI plus Majeure DATE: Saturday, April… more

Neighborhood Pet…

Apr 26 - 26, 2014
Neighborhood Pet Adoption & Bake Sale, sponsored by the LA/SPCA will be… more

Shamarr Fest at…

Apr 26 - 26, 2014
 A new and powerful addition to post-Jazz Fest revelry, Shamarr Fest… more

An Evening with The…

Apr 27 - 27, 2014
Gospel/Blues/Rock supergroup The Word features John Medeski (Medeski Martin… more

Early Modern Faces: …

Apr 27 - Jun 29, 2014
This exhibition brings together nearly ninety Old Master paintings and prints… more

30 Americans

Apr 24 - Jun 15, 2014
30 Americans showcases works by many of the most important African American… 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.