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"Thanks for the…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Take a seat in the crowd as Bob Hope takes the stage, just as he did during… more

2014: A Strauss…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Soprano Susanna Phillips, whose expressive clarity has made her one of the… more

American Theater…

Sep 19 - 21, 2014
American Theatre Project of New Orleans (ATPNO) returns to Dillard University's… more

Blue Nile Presents…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Come join us for Mississippi Rail Company w/ special guests Johnny Sansone and… more

Champions Square…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
In support of his "True Believers Tour," Darius Rucker comes to Bold… more

Community Cinema…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
MAKERS - Women in Comedyis one of a six-part PBS series profiling the impact… more

Concerts in the…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Now in its seventh year, The Historic New Orleans Collection's Concerts in the… more

Jefferson Performing…

Sep 19 - 28, 2014
The Jefferson Performing Arts Society will be opening their 37th Season with an… more

Le Petit Theatre…

Sep 19 - 20, 2014
Just a week later, the popular Broadway comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha… more

Le PETIT THEATRE…

Sep 19 - 20, 2014
In this regional premiere of Christopher Durang's uproarious Tony Award winning… more

Mark of the Feminine

Sep 19 - Oct 4, 2014
Curator Regine Basha's Mark of the Feminine is the first in a series of… more

New Orleans Burlesque…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Luscious and lascivious ladies of burlesque entertain you in this annual rowdy,… more

New Orleans Fringe…

Sep 19 - Oct 15, 2014
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New Orleans Museum of…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Chefs of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group look forward to demonstrating their… more

NORDC Movies in the…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Join us for NORDC Movies in the Park screening of "The Lego… more

Rivertown Theaters…

Sep 19 - 28, 2014
Based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, we bring the… more

Thanks for the…

Sep 19 - 21, 2014
This incredible reenactment lets you take a seat in the crowd as Bob Hope takes… more

The Anthony Bean…

Sep 19 - 28, 2014
Two Trains Running is the powerful, often funny, always compassionate story of… more

The Civic Theatre…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Join us for the comedy group - Tim and Eric & Dr. Steve Brule. If you've… more

The National WWII…

Sep 19 - 21, 2014
This incredible reenactment lets you take a seat in the crowd as Bob Hope takes… more

"Thanks for the…

Sep 19 - 19, 2014
Take a seat in the crowd as Bob Hope takes the stage, just as he did during… 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.