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Upcoming Events

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2015 AVP New Orleans…

May 23 - 24, 2015
The AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour will make its return to New Orleans this… more

48th Annual Gonzales…

May 23 - 23, 2015
The festival features World Champion Jambalaya served daily, live music and… more

Edgar Degas: The…

May 23 - 24, 2015
Featuring drawings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, all from a single… more

EN MAS’: Carnival and…

May 23 - Jun 7, 2015
Curated by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, EN MAS': Carnival and Performance… more

ETCHYNPÜFE Group Show…

May 23 - 31, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to host ETCHYNPÜFE, a group show… more

FOUR VOICES at the…

May 23 - 24, 2015
The Garden District Gallery is pleased to present FOUR VOICES featuring… more

Freret Street Publiq…

May 23 - 23, 2015
Join us for live music with Big Deal Burlesque.   more

Greek Festival

May 23 - 24, 2015
Every year descendents of one of the Western world's oldest cultures celebrate… more

Jim Roche: Cultural…

May 23 - Jul 12, 2015
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961)… more

Le Petit Theatre…

May 23 - 23, 2015
This classic Stephen Sondheim and George Furth musical traces the lives of… more

Neighborhood Pet…

May 23 - 23, 2015
 Neighborhood Pet Adoption & Bake Sale, sponsored by the Louisiana… more

Purchased Lives: New…

May 23 - Jul 18, 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection's newest exhibition, "Purchased… more

Saturday Farmers…

May 23 - Dec 26, 2015
We are excited to announce the Saturday Farmers Market at the French Market!… more

Tennessee Williams:…

May 23 - 31, 2015
Tennessee Williams was one of the most admired playwrights of the 20th century.… more

The Irish House…

May 23 - 23, 2015
Join us at the Irish House for Patrick Cooper. more

The New Orleans Wine…

May 23 - 23, 2015
The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is one of the premiere events in… more

48th Annual Gonzales…

May 24 - 24, 2015
The festival features World Champion Jambalaya served daily, live music and… more

The Irish House…

May 24 - 24, 2015
Join us at the Irish House for Aaron Lopez-Barrantes. more

Irish Sessions

May 25 - 25, 2015
Join us at the Irish House on Mondays for Irish Sessions. more

Preservation Jazz…

May 25 - 25, 2015
Live New Orleans Jazz Nightly! more

2015 AVP New Orleans…

May 23 - 24, 2015
The AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour will make its return to New Orleans this… 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