Fighting Cardiac, Nerve Diseases and Cancer one Garden at a time…

Did you know that one of our gardens carry some cancer fighting plants?
Did you also know that in 2007, the American Cancer Society estimate that 559, 650 people in the U.S.A. would die of cancer and that 9,550 deaths would be in Louisiana. An now the
1,444,920 new cancer cases that will be diagnosed in the USA, about 22,540 cases would be from Louisiana.

These numbers as upsetting as they are there is still so much more natural ways to fight back. This coming Tuesday evening after the Urban Farmer workshop – Mr. Brock NOLA Green Roots- E.D. will hold personal workshop to introduce you to a plant from East Indian and is use in East Africa in a variety of ways to help the human body. Sign up today!

Leading the city in Composting

Our compost service has attracted the attention of New Orleans CityBusiness newspaper!

In a September 6 article, NOLA Green Roots is mentioned alongside a few other groups that partner with local restaurants to turn food waste into compost.

From the article:

Since May, NOLA Green Roots has collected 14,217 pounds in food waste from the 12 restaurants that participate in his composting program.

Garden Manager, our exclusive database, allows us to easily track the amount of food waste picked up from each restaurant. While the article focuses on Mid-City garden, we actually make and use compost throughout our network of community gardens. In addition, we also provide compost training to local gardeners and include it as part of our “Green Jobs” training for area youth. Once our store opens later this year, you’ll be able to buy NOLA Green Roots compost for use in your own garden projects also.

Visit our compost service page to learn more or, if you’re a restaurant owner/manager, to sign up for our affordable pickups. We are working hard to offer compost service to residents as well. Stay tuned for developments on that front.

Thanks to our current partners: Cochon/Calcasieu, Eco Café, Ruby Slipper, Pinkberry on Magazine and on Canal, Ralph’s on the Park, Dante’s Kitchen, Patois, and our newest addition, The Avenue Pub. As always, please show your support by choosing these restaurants when you dine out, and let them know you appreciate their commitment to NOLA Green Roots and a sustainable New Orleans.

Donation Station, What’s Your Function?

Extra! Extra! NOLA Green Roots has developed a new Web page where members of the national and local communities may donate extra materials from lumber to soil to kitchenware for use in the NGR network. The page details what NGR is able to accept, including vehicles and furniture. When you are looking to donate somewhere, you can’t beat our goals: We will use your donations to help feed our community fresh, affordable vegetables, fruit and eggs, hold community workshops on how to grow, provide job training for youth in the community and operate a citywide community compost program. If that’s not enough incentive, you get a tax break on top of it all! The details of your tax write-off are explained on the Web site. Check it out.

Zoning Laws to Affect Community Gardening

For the first time in decades, the City of New Orleans is revising its zoning law and master plan. Buried in this thick document is a small piece of code with a potentially big impact for those of us who love gardening. The Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance will regulate what kinds of crops New Orleans gardeners can grow, how many animals we can tend, and how our compost services are allowed to operate.

Now is the time to make our voices heard! City planners will hold public meetings throughout the month of September to listen to residents’ feedback about proposed changes. Come out to our September member’s meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6 pm to discuss the impact of this ordinance on our gardens and to plan our response!

New Dinner Series Kicks Off at Dante’s Kitchen

Everybody loves New Orleans’ food, but now you can dine for a good cause! NOLA Green Roots’ Dinner Series is an opportunity to eat at some of the city’s finest restaurants and lend financial support to our programs.

The first dinner was held on August 24 at Dante’s Kitchen, one of our restaurant partners. Chef Eman Loubier reserved a cozy room in his Uptown bistro for more than a dozen friends of NOLA Green Roots, where he treated them to a delicious three-course feast, prepared with fresh herbs from our gardens!

The $75 ticket included a donation to our organization and a chance to discuss our projects with staff, board members and other friends of NOLA Green Roots. Zee Thornton, local cook and NGR fundraising committee chair, helped pave the way for this first dinner. She’s already working with our staff and fundraising consultant Andrew Hogan, to plan the next dinner in October.

Want to attend? Visit our website often and make sure you’re on our email list so you can get the announcements. If your restaurant would like to sponsor one, please call us at (504) 251-9818 or email info@nolagreenroots.com. And of course, members and volunteers are welcome to help plan these and other events by joining the fundraising committee.

Four Restaurants Join Our Compost Service

Welcome aboard new compost service partner restaurants!

  • Avenue Pub – 1732 Saint Charles Avenue
  • Cochon and Calcasieu Ball Room – 930 Tchoupitoulas Avenue
  • Pinkberry – 300 Canal Street

Please show your support for these restaurants and our other partners by patronizing their establishments when you go out to eat. Let them know you’re a NOLA Green Roots member or supporter and thank them for helping us to build sustainable communities through gardening!

Each month, we recycle several thousand pounds of waste from our restaurant partners, which would otherwise be dumped in the garbage. Instead, we use it to make our own compost, which provides nutrients to the vegetables, fruits, herbs and nuts that fill our members’ baskets each month.

Learn more about our compost service

Say Hello to Our New Staff

After spending the summer as a supervisor in our youth training program, Deidre R. Gantt has joined our staff as Director of Development. With a Master’s degree in writing from Emerson College and several years’ experience supporting nonprofit communications in her hometown, Washington, DC, Gantt is well-equipped to strengthen NOLA Green Roots’ grant writing, communications and program management.

Andrew Hogan brings nearly 20 years of marketing and fundraising experience on behalf of nonprofit, commercial and government organizations, including National Parks and Conservation Association, Habitat for Humanity, ChildFund and Volunteers of America. A member of the Louisiana Association of Non-Profit Organizations, Hogan is already drumming up potential friends and restaurant partners to expand our dinner series.

Kalika Baker is on board in one of our newly-created “green” jobs: Animal Supervisor. Baker, who was born and raised in the 9th ward, has been trained to take care of our chickens, maintain their coops and prepare their eggs for basket distribution.

Learn about our green jobs

Welcome to Our New Offices!

NOLA Green Roots (NGR) is moving up in the world—one floor up, to be exact. Hardworking youth trainees, staff and loyal members spent the summer revamping the second floor of the Hilbert’s by Accident building at 3101 Tulane Avenue. So we’re still across the street from our Mid-City Community Garden, in the midst of the Tulane Avenue corridor’s renaissance of recent years, but we have more space to accommodate our growing programs.

Our new facility includes a full kitchen, pantry, office and a 50-seat conference & training room with wireless internet and a flat-screen TV monitor. These new amenities allow us to train members to clean and package harvested produce, can fruits and vegetables for the colder months, and develop our top-secret recipes for NGR tomato sauce, tomato paste, pesto and vinaigrette. We’ve already begun to hold garden workshops, membership meetings and movie screenings in the space, and we’ve made it available as a meeting center for other organizations in the community.

First Annual Food is Power Job Training Comes to a Close

Green jobs are growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, according to a 2009 study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. For six weeks this summer, NOLA Green Roots gave 48 New Orleans-area teens exposure to this field along with skills they can build on at their next job and in the classroom.

The program began on June 15. The teens, who came to us from the Job1 Training Program (sponsored by Goodwill Industries and the New Orleans mayor’s office) were split into four teams. Each week, the teams worked on one aspect of garden management—planting, harvesting, compost and building—until every participant had spent time in each of our gardens, receiving training in each kind of task. Some of the older teens staffed our main office, helping to update our database, answer telephones and prepare daily reports. On Fridays, Joseph Brock, NGR’s executive director, rewarded their hard work with nachos, ice cream and other snacks chosen by the teens.
Brock was assisted by four supervisors, Ivy Jackson, Teresa Thomas, Deidre Gantt and Audrey Davidson, who trained the youth on specific tasks, including how to seed squash and cantaloupe, prep a raised bed with lines and fresh soil, spot and remove weeds, tie up cucumbers, harvest okra and other veggies, test pH in developing compost, build a hoop house, operate small power tools and much more. NGR member Joe Biniek and HandsOn New Orleans staffer Patrick O’Brien also lent a hand with the compost and building projects.

Before and after heading to the gardens, the teens learned to develop a personal budget, complete a job application and other life skills. Towards the end of the summer, the teens demonstrated their new skills by collaborating on job descriptions for each garden station. “We were focused on these kids,” says Brock. “We wanted to do the best job possible for them. It paid off. We administered a great program that we hope to continue for many years to come.”

Special thanks to our members who braved the rain on July 23 to attend an end-of-summer appreciation party for our youth employees!

Dinner Series: Dante’s Kitchen

NOLA Green Roots would like to thank everyone who participated in its first Dinner Series at Dante’s Kitchen. Everyone had a lovely time and dinner at Dante’s Kitchen was great! Below are some photos of the event.