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Upcoming Events

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15th Annual Satchmo…

Aug 1 - 2, 2015
Celebrate our native son, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, at this free… more

Anthony Bean…

Aug 1 - 2, 2015
Experience over 80 youth giving an electrifying performance in tribute to the… more

Author to Reader Con…

Aug 1 - 1, 2015
Join us for  a FREE to the public book signing with 80+ authors. Parking… more

COOLinary New Orleans…

Aug 1 - 31, 2015
It is going to be a delicious summer!  During the month of August, enjoy… more

Hemispheres Cup -…

Aug 1 - 1, 2015
Two of the best rugby clubs in the world, the Saracens from England and the… more

Louisiana SPCA’s…

Aug 1 - 31, 2015
In memory of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana SPCA is… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Aug 1 - Sep 7, 2015
Ten Years Gone brings together six artists whose work engages with the broad… more

Saturday Farmers…

Aug 1 - Dec 26, 2015
We are excited to announce the Saturday Farmers Market at the French Market!… more

The Historic New…

Aug 1 - 2, 2015
One of the premier decorative arts events in the country, the four-day program… more

The Sweat Social…

Aug 1 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

Whitney White Linen…

Aug 1 - 1, 2015
Drape yourself in cool, white linen and join 16,000 art aficionados in the Arts… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Aug 2 - Oct 4, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Aug 2 - Oct 4, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
Join us for the opening reception for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality… more

Off-site Pet…

Aug 2 - 2, 2015
Off-site Pet Adoption, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA, will be held in the… more

American Recovery…

Aug 6 - 8, 2015
The American Recovery Association (ARA) and Harding Brooks Associates, LLC… more

Langlois Girls Night…

Aug 6 - Sep 3, 2015
Bring your friends to Langlois on Thursdays or Fridays this summer for girls'… more

Yappy Hour in the…

Aug 6 - 27, 2015
Join us for  Yappy Hour in the Courtyard at Rare Form, to benefit the… more

Chef's Taste Challenge

Aug 7 - 7, 2015
The Farm to Table Chefs Taste Challenge (CTC), scheduled for August 7, 2015 at… more

Dirty Linen Night

Aug 8 - 8, 2015
Not to be outdone by White Linen Night, Royal Street merchants decided to… more

15th Annual Satchmo…

Aug 1 - 2, 2015
Celebrate our native son, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, at this free… more

A Food and Farm Center for New Orleans on National Food Day

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.

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