8 years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is still in recovery, and in the Lower 9th Ward, many things still show obvious signs of the storm. There are no grocery stores, and numerous overgrown, empty lots, many of which have front stairs that lead nowhere, where houses once stood. Still, the neighborhood has heart and strength.
Since 2009, The Backyard Gardener’s Network, a nonprofit organization founded by Lower 9th Ward native Jenga Mwendo, has sought to rebuild pride and a sense of community in this neighborhood, through the community’s cultural traditions of gardening.
The Guerrilla Garden was conceived, developed and implemented by Lower 9th Ward residents committed to community revitalization. Recirculating Farms Collation, in cooperation with Backyard Gardeners Network, is raising funds to create a hydroponic living shade structure, to expand the growing capability of the garden, and provide a respite from the Louisiana sun for garden workers. Vine plants grown in nutrient rich water (without soil) – like grapes, tomatoes and luffa (those long tube-like sponges) will be trained to grow up the wall and over the top of the trellis-like pergola.
Watch our video on the Guerrilla Garden project!