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Upcoming Events

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CANO & PhotoNOLA…

Jan 24 - Feb 28, 2017
CANO is proud to announce our first photography exhibition in conjunction with… more

Clarence John…

Jan 24 - Mar 25, 2017
A Louisiana native, Clarence John Laughlin (1905 - 1985) ranks among the most… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Jan 24, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Exhibition to feature…

Jan 24 - Mar 25, 2017
 The Historic New Orleans Collection will open its next exhibition,… more

First Time Renovator…

Jan 24 - 31, 2017
Topics covered at this two-night workshop will be an analysis of the pros and… more

Grow Modern Event 15%…

Jan 24 - 31, 2017
It's back! Grow Modern 2017 has returned in full effect. Now for a *LIMITED… more

New Orleans…

Jan 24 - 26, 2017
Join us for Master Sugar Sculptor Sidney Galpern. She will be offering free… more

Rashaad Newsome:…

Jan 24 - Feb 12, 2017
New Orleans-born artist Rashaad Newsome returns for this interdisciplinary… more

Saenger Theatre…

Jan 24 - 29, 2017
Experience the phenomenon of Grammy and Tony Award Winning Disney's The Lion… more

Singer/Songerwriter…

Jan 24, 2017 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

Sugar Blowing…

Jan 24 - 27, 2017
On Monday, January 23 from 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm, the prominent chefs… more

Comedy Gold hosted by…

Jan 25, 2017 - Jan 07, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages (content may not be appropriate for all ages).… more

Live Opera…

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Opera Returns to Bourbon Street. Enjoy FREE opera entertainment at the Puccini… more

Opera on Tap

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Now in its 10th season, Opera on Tap presents the finest young local and… more

The Historic Carver…

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Join us at the Historic Carver Theater for the  Midweek Jazz … more

The Historic Carver…

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Join us at the Historic Carver Theater for the  Midweek Jazz … more

The Maison Presents -…

Jan 25 - Jul 26, 2017
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers play a free dinner show at The Maison every… more

Greater New Orleans…

Jan 26 - 26, 2017
LGBT older adults have worse mental and physical health compared to their… more

Heart of the House

Jan 26, 2017 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Jenni Sorkin:…

Jan 26 - 26, 2017
Sorkin will speak about her scholarship focusing on the intersection between… more

CANO & PhotoNOLA…

Jan 24 - Feb 28, 2017
CANO is proud to announce our first photography exhibition in conjunction with… 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.