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Upcoming Events

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17th Annual Martin…

Mar 2 - 7, 2015
Join us for the 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Mar 2 - 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Artist Spotlight…

Mar 2 - 31, 2015
New Orleans-based woodturning artist Tom Dunne will be the featured artist in… more

Edgar Degas: The…

Mar 2 - May 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

Mar 2 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Preservation Jazz…

Mar 2 - 2, 2015
Live New Orleans Jazz Nightly! more

Tennessee Williams:…

Mar 2 - May 31, 2015
Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century.… more

The New Orleans…

Mar 2 - Nov 18, 2015
Marvel Universe LIVE! will captivate audiences with an authentic and original… more

The Joy Theater…

Mar 3 - 3, 2015
Much like acts like The Smiths or Joy Division before them, Above & Beyond… more

Jazz Pilates with…

Mar 4 - 25, 2015
The French Market and The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park are proud… more

Mark Steinmetz: South

Mar 4 - May 10, 2015
Mark Steinmetz lives and works in Athens, Georgia. His work transcends the… more

Ogden After Hours…

Mar 5 - 5, 2015
Join us for Ogden After Hours for Colin Lake. more

The Columns Hotel…

Mar 5 - 26, 2015
The Historical Columns Hotel with its "sophiscicated atmosphere" and… more

Yappy Hour at The…

Mar 5 - 5, 2015
Yappy Hour at the The Velvet Cactus - 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM (Sorry, no dogs… more

Friends of the…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Local jazz band, the Panorama Jazz Band, will bookend the final concert of… more

International…

Mar 6 - 7, 2015
Now in its seventh year, the New Orleans International Children's Film… more

Jefferson Arts…

Mar 6 - 15, 2015
Mrs. Stancliffe's Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast has been successful for many… more

Lauren Sturm - Bayou…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Performs solo acoustic piano. more

Music at the Mint…

Mar 6 - 6, 2015
Billie performs mainly in an avant-garde, free style painting expansive… more

Ponchatoula Antique…

Mar 6 - 8, 2015
Featuring-Antique Collectibles Booth, Fine Arts & Crafts Booth, Food Booth,… more

17th Annual Martin…

Mar 2 - 7, 2015
Join us for the 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Art… 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.