Wow – today was amazing! We had 28 people come out on a beautiful Saturday morning in New Orleans, Louisiana to help us clean up the future site of our food and farm center, Growing Local NOLA. Working with New Orleans Food and Farm Network and NOLA Trash mob – we collected 14 bags of trash, 8 bags of recycling, 11 tires and a wide array of very unique objects – pulled from dirt piles and around the lot.
Our contest for most interesting item was won with an almost entirely intact clarinet – each of the 3 pieces were found separately!
Runners up included a “treasure box”, a whisk, 2 matching boots, remnants of an electric beater, a carpet, a pedicure set, and a 1979 Zulu doubloon (for those of you unfamiliar with Mardi Gras terminology – this is a colorful wooden or metal coin each “Krewe” makes to commemorate their annual participation in Carnival).
Winner of the largest piece of trash went to Jordan Bantuelle of the Urban Farmstead – he found a giant (and we mean GIANT) realtor sign. Debra Surtain, master gardener, also won a prize for helping to recruit the most people for the event.
We had an abundance of healthy snacks to fuel our cleanup team – fresh fruits, granola bars and yogurt, along with plenty of beverages to keep everyone hydrated – all natural orange and apple juices and LOTS of cold water.
Many thanks to everyone who participated – we are so grateful for your support!
In recent months, there have been so many happenings in food policy – from genetically modified foods studies to questionable permits issued for ocean aquaculture in Hawaii. As each new occurrence was announced, we thought – more people need to know about what’s happening with our food system and speak out for affordable healthy food produced in a sustainable way. So this December, Recirculating Farms Coalition is asking for more people to get involved in the good food movement! All of you supporters who are committed to fresh, local food, please join our Coalition – and ask your family and friends to join us too!
From December 4th through the end of the year, we’re launching the “Member in December” drive: and we’re asking you to help us spread the word about the Recirculating Farms Coalition. Whoever recruits the most new members (at least 10!) will win a fantastic pack of prizes and a special profile on our blog. Click here for membership sign-up.
Be sure to tell all your friends and family to let us know who connected them to us when they sign up. Tell them to write the name of the person who invited them to become a member on the membership form, in the box that says “tell us about your farm if you have one.”
And if you are already a member and want to further support the Coalition, please consider making an end-of-the-year donation so we can keep on doing important things to support recirculating farming!
THANK YOU for all you do!
An excited crowd gathered on an empty lot in Central City New Orleans this morning as the Recirculating Farms Coalition and the New Orleans Food and Farm Network officially broke ground on a unique community farm and food center – “Growing Local NOLA”.
Neighbors stopped by to talk about their hopes for the new facility, city and state officials gave congratulations and well wishes and partners and supporters joined in celebration.
The core of the Center will be a working farm that showcases cutting-edge yet affordable, water, space and energy efficient growing techniques, like recirculating hydroponics and aquaponics. These systems use constantly recycled nutrient-rich water in place of soil to grow plants (including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs) and aquaponics raise fish too (learn more here).
Products will be offered to local distributors and restaurants, and directly to consumers through a nearby green market, and special events like a farmers’ market.
There will be a wide range of programs at the Center like personal gardening, commercial farming, and farm-to-table cooking classes, fitness workshops, youth and senior events, lectures, and community discussions related to food, health and more. The Center will also host a community garden, with raised soil beds and fruit trees
Working with other existing programs, Growing Local NOLA plans to help tackle the city’s label as a food desert and the state’s high obesity rate – the second worst in the country by providing healthy fresh affordable food and training in urban farming.
The organizations recently received major grants for the project from, among others, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and the Claneil Foundation. Christy Oliver Reeves, Director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana attended the event in person.
Read more about the groundbreaking here – see what city and state officials and others said about Growing Local NOLA!
Sanjay Kharod, Christy Oliver Reeves, Marianne Cufone
and Ayame Nagatani Dinkler at groundbreaking
We are very excited to announce the release of our brand new report – From Out of the Blue – Green Farming. It explains what recirculating farming is, how it is growing in popularity and why these farms are key in providing healthy, fresh, affordable food in the U.S. and beyond. In it, there are photos of various farms and recirculating systems, and discussion about how recirculating farming is a sustainable way to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and fish in urban and rural environments. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the report!
Amidst the many celebrations with messages about all things eco-friendly from recycling to eating local and discussions on how we humans interact with our natural environment – our creative side emerged – so from us to you, we here at the Recirculating Farms Coalition wish you a happy, healthy, thoughtful Earth Day:
Blue water, clean air
Earth – live, cherish, nurture, use
Humans, be kind – THINK!