Walk the aisles of the New Orleans Food Cooperative’s gleaming new grocery store in the Faubourg Marigny, and it seems there’s something to catch the eye or spark a question on every shelf and in every bin, from rare heirloom produce varieties to specialty meats to vitamins and tinctures.
This Saturday, Nov. 12, in those same aisles you’ll also find free samples galore and farmers, vendors and other representatives ready to answer your questions and share their back stories.
The Food Co-Op’s 4,800-sq.-ft. grocery opened one month ago in the multi-use Healing Center complex and Saturday marks the store’s grand opening celebration. This day has been a long time coming from the Food Co-Op, which formed nine years ago with the goal of making healthy, sustainably-produced food more accessible in New Orleans, so for Saturday’s celebration the group is putting on a big community party with food, music, demos, samples and tables from local artists and community groups. The event goes from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free.
“There will be constant, non-stop samples, vendors presenting their wares, discussing their product or their farm,” says Elizabeth Underwood, outreach manager for the Food Co-Op. “It’s a great opportunity for people to build relationships with the source of their food and to know where they’re food is coming from and how it got here.”
Lately the name Hollygrove has been turning up on menus at more and more New Orleans restaurants, where it’s practically become a byword for locally-sourced food.
It refers, of course, to Hollygrove Market and Farm, which is an urban farm in its own right, a market for other small-scale farmers and artisan food producers around the area, an education center and a hub for the local food movement.
The increasing frequency of such menu shout-outs to Hollygrove are just one sign of its impressive growth. October marks the group’s third anniversary, and in that short span it has developed a thriving network of restaurant clients and a distribution system that includes five weekly locations around town, as well as door-to-door delivery of market boxes.
“It’s really grown in these three years beyond our wildest expectations,” says general manager Paul Baricos. “That has a lot to do with our partners and our volunteers, because we couldn’t do it on our own.”
This Saturday, during its regular weekly market at Hollygrove headquarters from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the group and its supporters will celebrate its birthday with a party including live music, farm tours and lots of food. A collection of local vendors will be on hand, Baricos says, including many serving vegan fare. There will also be a cookout where more carnivorous customers can sample grilled goat, with meat provided by Ryals Goat Dairy, a favorite at local farmers markets. The party is free and open to the public, while prepared foods and the normal market haul will be available for sale.
NOLA Food Swap
Another upcoming event at Hollygrove also promises to showcase the growing momentum in the New Orleans local food scene, and it sounds like a delicious showcase at that.
So what do we, humans in the year 2011, do with this object that some older people in our families tell us was once used to "look up phone numbers"? You can recycle it: both the City of New Orleans and Phoenix accept phone books as part of their curbside recycling programs. If you don't want to recycle it, consider reusing it. There are plenty of fun ways to ascribe some purpose to this giant thing of paper you never asked for. You could use your phone book for ...
1. Arts and crafts projects! With a book containing hundreds of pieces of paper that are not at all relevant to you, the possibilities are endless for anyone with crafty inclinations. You could paper mache something — maybe a headpiece for your Halloween costume? This website has an easy, illustrated guide to get you started. You also could use your phone book for pressing flowers and leaves, which can then be used to make bookmarks or other sweet things for your mom.
2. Roach (and other large insect) killing. Phone books are heavy and cover a large area, so they are ideal for throwing at roaches if you have bad aim.
Remember those super-ambitious plans to turn a former railway into a 3-mile park running from Lakeview to the French Quarter? Now that new contracts have been signed, the project is finally getting some legs. The Lafitte Corridor revitalization project — which will develop bike paths, green spaces, community gardens, "green rooms" for events, and other features — begins its community meetings tonight.
Bart Everson, president of the Friends of the Lafitte Corridor, told Gambit in March that these meetings are a huge part of the planning process. "(The corridor) goes through a number of different neighborhoods, and people presumably coming from different areas and backgrounds are going to have different ideas about the process," he said. "The greenway has to reflect the communities' desires or it's not going to be successful. It's our role to make sure the process at this stage is an honest, open, transparent process and the community really is engaged."
In November 2009, the city picked Austin, Texas landscape architecture and urban planning firm Design Workshop for the project, backed in part by an $11.6 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). An audit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development screened all projects using CDBG funds, so in January 2010, the city prematurely terminated its contract with Design Workshop. Then-incoming Mayor Mitch Landrieu asked Mayor Ray Nagin to freeze all city contracts. So by the end of Nagin's term, no bidder had been selected for the project — but when the project was rebid, Design Workshop was re-selected in August 2010.
"We don't foresee it as just another tourist attraction," said Design Workshop's Steven Spears. "It'll be something more profound. Tourists and locals will be able to use and enjoy (the greenway) for alternative transportation (and) recreation."
The project team, led by Spears, is made up of urban planners, engineers, architects, and environmental consultants. Topics for community meetings include recreational programs, housing, job opportunities, arts, environment and health, and transportation.
The "Lafitte Corridor Connection" meetings being today at 4:30 p.m. at Sojourner Truth Community Center (2200 Lafitte St.) and continue through Aug. 19. There also are open house-type events from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily all week, where you can stop by and check the project's process and suggest ideas. Those open houses are at Sojourner Truth as well as Grace Episcopal Church (3700 Canal St.).
Hit the the jump for the full schedule.
I've gotten similar responses in the past after politely refusing a bag — either because I've brought my own or didn't think the pack of Tic-Tacs I purchased needed its own three-gallon-sized vessel. I'll either get an eyeroll or snarky comment like the woman's today, or the baggers will decide to just stop doing their jobs because I've brought my own bags. The latter scenario invariably creates this embarrassing struggle for me to hurriedly bag my groceries before the growing line behind me gangs up and murders me.
Look, I'm no Portlandia character. Although plastic bags are poison-filled wildlife killers, I bring my own bags to stores because — like many reusable products — they are just way better than their disposable counterparts (I had the same experience with resuable menstrual products). They hold more stuff, they're less likely to break and I can tote them around the store and use them to carry my groceries. The bags from the local company Repax are small enough to stuff into my purse or pockets. They're cute! And plus, I just hate how plastic bags accumulate in my house. There's only so many tiny trash cans you can line.
Reusable bags are an eco-friendly thing I assumed most people — regardless of socio-economic status — can get behind, unlike overpriced organic rice milk ice cream sandwiches or the majority of Whole Food's health and beauty section. They're a practical, inexpensive way to waste less. So why the resistance in New Orleans?
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) dropped a report this week (following this fairly damning one) outlining the potential (and likely) effects of rising sea levels on several U.S. cities. New Orleans of course is on the list — the NRDC says its one of "the most vulnerable cities in the United States to the impacts of climate change, due to its low elevation, land subsidence rates, sea level rise, and prediction of more intense hurricanes." (Read the full breakdown of New Orleans here.)
The NRDC predicts sea levels in the area to rise by 1 to 4.6 feet by 2100, one of the highest rates in the the nation. The effects include wiping out significant chunks of wetlands, exposing the city directly to the Gulf of Mexico.
Rising seas will likely wipe out a significant portion of the coastal wetlands in the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain, where wetland loss rates are already among the highest in the world. Without inputs of sediment, an additional 3,900 to 5,200 square miles of wetlands will be under water by the end of the 21st century. If the impacts of relative sea level rise on wetlands are not checked, metropolitan New Orleans could eventually sit on land almost completely surrounded by the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands would not only represent a loss of natural flood protection, but it would impact the vast array of plants and animals that the wetlands support, many of which are tied to economic activity including fishing, timber, agriculture, tourism, and recreation. The combined value of infrastructure and biological productivity associated with Louisiana’s wetlands exceeds $100 billion.
Earlier this year, the University of Arizona produced a similar report showing that by 2100, New Orleans could face 10 percent land loss. The report's maps show much of the city lying at or below 1 meter of elevation, with areas immediately along the Mississippi River (read: levee protection and higher ground) lying at or below 6 meters of elevation.
But while the UA report didn't specify any call to action, NRDC seems confident in post-Katrina reconstruction — raising homes, 500-year storm protection, flood mitigation — to combat the rising tide.
Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush, filmed a segment for the Today Show spotlighting the Atchafalaya Basin and Cajuns' way of life. View it here. It was good PR for the state. Bush-Hager caught some crawfish, was scared by a 9-foot alligator and even played a triangle with Cajun musicians. She never did quite pick up the correct pronunciation of Atchafalaya, however.
There’s an adage among geographers that you can’t manage the landscape without measuring it first. That’s true of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, which bear the brunt of 90 percent of the land loss suffered by the continental U.S.
It was with that in mind that the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette produced an unprecedented, multi-layered topography system that not only accurately depicts Louisiana’s coast but also shows 78 years’ worth of shoreline activity. You can download that map here.
The map and data produced by the project were released last week and republished by dozens of print, broadcast and online outlets around the world. Here’s a synopsis of the headlines still being rolled out: The seventh-largest delta on the earth’s surface has experienced a net loss of 1,883 square miles since 1932.
The third annual event is one of more than 70 worldwide rides gathering bicyclists (both naked and not-so-much) to raise awareness of bicycles on the road.
The World Naked Bike Ride's New Orleans chapter meets 11 a.m. Saturday, June 11 — the ride begins and ends at Markey Park in Bywater.
The inaugural ride in 2009 and in 2010 hosted more than 300 riders in various states of dress — underwear, togas, body paint, strategically placed electrical tape, Speedos and bikinis, actual nudity. (Expect lots of dudes in a shorts/shirtless combo.) Their mission: "to peacefully expose the vulnerability of cyclists, humanity and nature in the face of cars, aggression, consumerism and non-renewable energy."
The answer is "No," unless you're biking through hills, in which case absolutely yes — New Orleans shouldn't be a problem there.
One rider captured the 2009 ride on film (with a Le Tigre soundtrack), which you can check out below.
The Green Project is giving away certain building supplies through June 11 at its nonprofit building supply retail store at 2831 Marais St. It’s the third year the reuse store has provided residents with free building supplies in an effort to make sure the salvaged and deconstructed materials it collects are returned to use in the community. It’s also an opportunity for low-income homeowners to improve their property while conserving resources.
The Green Project operates a warehouse, lumberyard, paint recycling center, electronic waste and household recycling drop-offs and environmental education programs.
The guy is Snooki with a beard. The fact that some people take him so…
God's speed, Rodrigue
A word to the wise. NEVER celebrate after you have been declared cancer free. You…
to "Clancy's Reckoning;" If you have any doubt about Gambit's judgement of character chew on…
George was a rare person who never said a bad thing about anyone and likewise…
From the Spin article: "While Hope Road legally has the trademark to the phrase in…
This stuff is not good, smoked it for a few months straight and I would…
Tempred to call CPS?
No case here. You can't copyright or trademark a song title.
The Marley estate was foolish not to trademark the phrase themselves. They have created a…