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“Giants of Jazz: Art…

Nov 23 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… more

Amazing Scavenger…

Nov 23, 2017 - Jul 03, 2027
Turn New Orleans into a giant game board with this fun scavenger hunt… more

City Putt presents -…

Nov 23 - 25, 2017
Visit City Putt for a "Thanksgiving Bash: Gobble then Wobble" on… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 23, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 23 - Dec 29, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

East of the…

Nov 23, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present East of the Mississippi:… more

East of the…

Nov 23, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present East of the Mississippi:… more

Heart of the House

Nov 23, 2017 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Le Meridien Hotel…

Nov 23 - 23, 2017
Le Meridien New Orleans will be hosting a wonderful Thanksgiving Day Buffet!… more

Le Meridien Presents…

Nov 23 - 25, 2017
Le Méridien New Orleans presents a gourmet burger pop-up bar in LMNO… more

Lilith in Loa…

Nov 23, 2017
From Laurel Canyon to the West Village, Nashville to New Orleans, the LOA Bar… more

2017 Battle of the…

Nov 24 - 24, 2017
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 24, 2017 - Jan 01, 2018
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Magazine St. Art…

Nov 24, 2017
Magazine St. Art Market is a unique way to experience the best of our local… more

Stoned vs Drunk vs…

Nov 24, 2017 - Jul 24, 2026
Join us at the New Movement for a stand -up comedy challenge. Also, enjoy… more

The Fountain Lounge…

Nov 24 - Dec 29, 2017
Join us for Sam Kuslanr at the Fountain Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel. While… more

The Irish Cultural…

Nov 24, 2017 - Jan 22, 2027
Join us at the beautiful Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans every Friday… more

Backyard Grooves

Nov 25, 2017 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

Bayou Classic

Nov 25 - 25, 2017
The 44th Annual Bayou Classic will take place in the Dome on Saturday, November… more

Bayou Classic Parade

Nov 25 - 25, 2017
Join us for the Bayou Classic  Parade. The parade will begin at the … more

“Giants of Jazz: Art…

Nov 23 - Dec 17, 2017
This spring, art and music converge as The Historic New Orleans Collection… 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.