We believe that the NOLA Green Roots Network is the solution to addressing the need for locally grown, natural fruits and vegetables. By using a new way of connecting residents to community gardens, NOLA Green Roots has impacted hundreds of people and will continue to grow. In 2009, NOLA Green Roots impacted over 500 homes in the City of New Orleans and some of the surrounding parishes. In 2010, we partnered with several organizations to continue our mission. Our sponsorship base is increasing and we obtained funding from several private foundations that support the NOLA Green Roots vision.
Our organization facilitates gardening training for hundreds of New Orleans residents. By developing community gardens, we teach youth, low-income residents, and senior citizens how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables at a low cost. Our community gardens provide access to fresh produce and plants as well as lessons on satisfying labor needs, improving neighborhoods, building a sense of community, and connecting to the environment.
Volunteers learn how to seed, plant, and grow. One of our fundamental on-site lessons is the effect of climate change on food security. Climate change is expected to cause a global decline in agricultural output, making fresh produce increasingly unaffordable. During our gardening sessions, we also teach the importance of our community’s food security system – a system which allows our residents to grow their own food or donate what they have grown to others. Experienced gardeners teach residents how locally grown food decreases our community’s reliance on fossil fuels for transport of food from large agricultural areas. Other gardeners teach residents how to improve health through increased fresh vegetable consumption and exercise. This summer, we formalized several learning initiatives by hosting our Learning to Build Green Workshop. Daily sessions were conducted at our Wise Words Community Garden. Topics included the following: Building Sun Covers, Adding the Right Amount of Compost, Protecting Your Wood, and Harvesting Water.