Grow Dat Youth Farm, a 7-acre urban farm located in the heart of City Park, is a youth leadership development organization which employs and nurtures 70+ high school age students each year. Through each and every of its 5 leadership development opportunities, young adults learn about and explore sustainable agriculture, community leadership, and food justice (deepening their knowledge and practice with each new opportunity). They additionally emphasize environmental stewardship and the history of the land. The farm works collaboratively to grow food, educate and inspire youth and adults, and build power to create personal, social, and environmental change. Attendees of this site visit will tour the farm to learn about Grow Dat’s model of utilizing food production to provide high quality youth leadership programming; unpack the intersections between food access, racial equity, food sovereignty, and urban farming; and discuss how urban farming can be used as a tool to revitalize and reclaim historic community spaces.
This site visit will be led by Grow Dat’s young adult leaders and Executive Director, Devon Turner.
Please note that while the main campus and offices are ADA accessible, if the ground is muddy the farm will not be accessible to automatic wheelchairs.
Fully understanding our current food system requires that we look to our past and explore the contributions of enslaved people. The Whitney Plantation, the only plantation museum in Louisiana that focuses exclusively on the lives and history of enslaved people, was established in 1752 as a sugar, rice, and indigo plantation. The tour of its museum, grounds, and memorials offer attendees insight into the lives of over 350 people who were held in bondage on its grounds for over 100 years, and honor the over 100,000 people held in slavery across Louisiana. Attendees will be joined by historian and foodways expert Zella Palmer who will further explore the historic and modern connections between plantations and food systems.
During this site visit attendees will understand how enslaved people have shaped what is grown in the region, as well as American food traditions, and draw connections between early oppressive food systems and modern-day land loss and discrimination against black farmers in Louisiana and America at large.
Please note that as this site visit is 45-minutes away from New Orleans participants will arrive back to the conference 15-30 minutes late to the opening plenary. Lunch will remain available. The visitor’s center is ADA compliant and while some structures are accessible only on foot, most of the tour can be viewed from a wheelchair.
The ReFresh Project is an innovative community health hub that houses multiple non-profits and serves as an anchor for workforce and economic development along the Broad Street corridor of New Orleans, one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Created by an innovative financing and development approach that brought together local organizations and attracted retail partner Whole Foods, the organizations involved provide healthy and affordable food and programming, education, and training to promote the health and wellness of the surrounding communities. This site visit will feature Broad Community Connections, a community development organization, Liberty’s Kitchen, an organization providing food-focused workforce development training and hands on experience for New Orleans young people, and SPROUT NOLA, a farmer development, support, and advocacy organization. Attendees to this site visit will learn about the development of the ReFresh Project, hear from various organizations in the building about their work, and learn about the ReFresh Collaborative, a collective impact initiative strategically aligning the work of 60 on- and off-site partners to impact the health and financial stability of neighborhood residents
Learn more about your site visit hosts: The ReFresh Project, Broad Community Connections, Liberty’s Kitchen, Top Box Foods, The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, and SPROUT Nola. Additional organizations TBD.
Thank you to our generous sponsors, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, for supporting this site visit.
This space is ADA accessible.
In this site visit, attendees will walk to Pythian Market, a community development project between Green Coast Enterprises and Crescent City Community Land Trust. Housed within the historical Pythian Building which played an integral role in the civil rights movement, Pythian Market is now an urban food collective that celebrates New Orleans’ undeniable spirit through locally-sourced fare and craft with a key focus on entrepreneurs of color. Attendees will learn the market’s nuanced financing and development model, including how the core team leveraged real estate development for equitable food systems change. Next, attendees will travel to Second Harvest Food Bank to hear how they’re exploring earned revenue strategies through the leasing of warehouse storage space to businesses like Bhoomi Juices. The Bhoomi team will highlight how building racial equity into sourcing protocols can increase collective impact. To complete the tour, attendees will visit Melba’s Poboys to discuss how a restaurant cooperative can be a tool to empower employees while strengthening your business model. Attendees will be treated to a juicing demonstration and cane water testing from Bhoomi Juices and gumbo and daiquiri samples from Melba’s.
All buildings are ADA accessible and transportation from the conference hall to Pythian Market can be arranged in advance.