Youth Crew Members at Grow Dat Youth Farm. Photo by Claire Bangser.
Transform Magazine, the industry publication of IEMA for environment and sustainability professionals, recently ran a thoughtful profile of Grow Dat. I met the author, Huw Morris, when I was speaking at the ‘Sustainable Food and Beveridge’ event as part of the LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0 this past March.
As you will see, I always love an excuse to quote Wendell Berry. And let it be known that every time I talk about sustainable agricultural practices, I’m directly quoting Grow Dat’s Farmers who are far more knowledgable than me!
From the article:
One of Grow Dat’s founding principles is that the toughest social problems will not be solved by individuals or by one group of people alone. “This is one of the lasting lessons of Hurricane Katrina, a dozen years later,” Jeanne Firth says. The project hires young people from partner schools across New Orleans for its five-month leadership programme. Starting at age 15, they come from across the spectrum – elite private Catholic schools, alternative schools and Louisiana’s Center for Juvenile Offenders. “We intentionally hire young people from a dozen different high schools across the city,” she says. “They are young people who work together but might never normally meet.”
Read the full story here.
This year, the massive annual AAG (American Association of Geographers) convening is taking place in our own backyard of New Orleans, Louisiana.
The events I’m spearheading or involved with include:
Co-organizer with Yuki Kato (Georgetown) of the session ‘Urban Agriculture in post-“Disaster” Cities’
Co-presenter with Yuki Kato (Georgetown) of the paper ‘The Role of External Funding in the Development of Food Systems and Urban Agriculture in Post-Katrina New Orleans’ Session sponsored by the Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, and Urban Geography
Organizer of the field trip and workshop at Grow Dat Youth Farm, ‘The History of the Land’ sponsored by the Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group
Co-author with Catarina Passidomo (University of Mississippi, Oxford) of the paper ‘New Orleans’ “Renaissance” and the New Southern Food Movement’ in the session ‘Food geographies: culture, media, politics 2’ sponsored by Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group and Media and Communication Geography
Discussant for the paper session ‘Bodies and Spaces ‘of’ and ‘at’ Risk in the City: Framings, Responses and Resistance (II)’ organized by my incredible colleagues at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the Department of Geography and the Environment, Jordana Ramalho, Laura Antona and Paroj Banerjee
Thanks to the Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group for helping organize the field trip to Grow Dat and for their sponsorship of our sessions here, in addition to many other convenings.
Jon Emmett who runs the Sustainability Blog at The London School of Economics and Political Science asked if I would write a piece for the LSE environmental community about the work and mission of Grow Dat Youth Farm, and I was happy to oblige.
‘At Grow Dat Youth Farm, we use chemical-free farming methods to build a resilient sustainable agricultural system. To us that means producing food by supporting natural ecological systems and stewarding natural and human resources for the future. Located on a former golf course, we do not use chemical-based pesticides or fertilisers. Instead, we utilise techniques such as cover cropping, composting, companion planting, farmscaping and crop rotation to stimulate micro-biological activity and soil health.’
Read more here.
Youth Crew Members inspect a crop of lettuces in the field at Grow Dat in New Orleans, Louisiana