Hey everyone! We want to give you an update on what’s been going on at our farm this past season. We’ve got a lot of exciting happenings around the farm and some events coming up this summer. Here are a few things we’ve been doing:
Our farmers Bac Thanh and Chu Phuc have finished building the processing facility on our main farmsite. This facility will allow our farmers to process, clean, and package their produce to be ready to be sold. It also allows the farmers a space for shelter from the hot New Orleans summer. The processing facility has been a goal for us for almost a year, and with financial support from the USDA and the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of Peoples grant, we were able to complete the building this June.
There are also a few new faces on the farm as well. Our partnership with Kids ReThink New Orleans schools continues as the Food Justice Collective utilizes several rows on the farm to grow food and learn about food systems. The FJC’s major project this Srping and Summer is to release a decolonizing cookbook, bringing recipes from their different backgrounds to combat bland, industrialized food.
The FJC will hold a cookbook release and food demonstration event on July 15th, with location TBD. Be sure to check back here and on our social media outlets for updates on the event.
This past month, Mei-ling Hom and David have been volunteering at the farm and working on their Tea Square project. Both are artists in residence and have done varied visual artwork about living organisms, often using biodegradable materials for agricultural art-related projects. They envisioned VEGGI experimenting in the tea niche, growing a local and culturally relevent product for community members and wanted to create a rest area to accompany it.
Last minute budget withdrawal called for improvisation and Mei-ling and David sold their artwork to raise money, and found many dumped materials to repurpose, such as palm log and untreated wood. Dash Lumber & Supply also kindly donated wood for this project. The tea plants should be ready to harvest from in 2 or 3 years time.
We really appreciate your hard work and contribution, Mei-ling and David! And thanks to Dash Lumber & Supply for donating the materials!
VEGGI Farmers Cooperative will be hosting a fundraiser to celebrate Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, on Saturday, February 13th at 3pm. If you are in the New Orleans area, come join us as we celebrate a fresh start to the new year along with great food and company.
We will be making traditional bánh xèo, a Vietnamese style rice flour crepe, shaved ice, alongside food from several restaurants. Beer, soft drinks, and water will also be available.
To join in the fun, purchase a ticket by clicking here and join us. There are two types of tickets:
- $15 ticket is good for entry and all-you-can-eat food at the event.
- $25 ticket includes both food and drinks (beer included)
We will have food from the following restaurants:
with possibly more!
Saturday February 13th, 3-6pm
4626 Alcee Fortier Blvd., Ste. E
New Orleans, LA 70129
Your ticket and beverage purchases will go towards helping us reach our fundraising goals for the year. This is also our farewell party for Daniel Nguyen, who has been at the forefront of VEGGI’s development since the beginning. He will be transitioning to a new job in Feb 2016. As you know, VEGGI operates as a non-profit and relies on the support of our customers, grantmaking foundations, and people like you.
FJC members Arie and Ron are semi-finalists for Propeller’s PitchNOLA competition and will be pitching the Food Justice Collective as a youth-led farm cooperative. The PitchNOLA competition is a platform to reward the best solutions for social and environmental impact for all New Orleanians. Arie and Ron will do their best to show the judges why FJC should receive their share of the $10,000 total prize.
We need you to come out to Freeman Auditorium at Tulane University on Jan. 28 at 6pm to show them your support. Click here for the RSVP and additional information:
We’ve partnered with Broadmoor Improvement Association to provide a new option for our CSA customers: You can now pick up your CSA box at the Rosa Keller Community Center Kitchen in Broadmoor on Fridays!
If you live in the Broadmoor area and are not available for home deliveries, you can now set the Rosa Keller Community Center as a pick up location. It is quite simple. When you order, select Rosa Keller Community Center as a pickup spot under Delivery Options, and pick up your box anytime between 12 noon and 4pm on Friday.
By Ron Triggs, Grade 8, Edgar P Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy, New Orleans
I have always lived in a food desert, meaning fresh and healthy food options are not readily available where I live. Instead, there’s a gas station corner store down the street from my house where most people buy food. At school, I want to see more fresh, healthy, culturally relevant foods in our school lunches. The New Orleans student of color population is at risk when it comes to eating nutritious and culturally relevant school meals. In Orleans Parish, an alarming 83.8% of public school students are eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch compared to the national average of 48.1%. And, students eligible for free or reduced-priced are disproportionately students of color –88.1% of eligible students are Black
This month, VEGGI will be returning to the Crescent City Farmers Market on Thursday afternoons at the American Can Company. We haven’t had a stand at the market since June because of the heat, which restricted our crop varieties and harvest.
But now that the season is changing, we are seeing a lot of beautiful colors on our farm, with lots of veggies growing bountifully again. Because of this, we look to be back at the farmers market and hope to see all of you there.
We will have our usual salad mixes, tofu, soy milk, radish, turnips, beets, herbs, eggplant, etc. and we still collaborate with SUA to bring you great products grown in the lower 9th as well.
What’s new this season is that our youth led Food Justice Collective will have some of their produce for sale as well. They’ve grown eggplant and okra, and have their own reusable grocery bag that you can purchase right here on our website and pick up at the market (we’re working on being able to sell the bags at the market as well).
We started our CSA delivery program this summer as well, and a presence at the farmers market, we’ll be able to use the site as a pickup spot for anyone who orders our box. You can also order a box at the market if you’d like.
We’re excited to get back to the market and be able to connect with our customers directly. Please follow us on twitter @veggifarmcoop to know which day we will be there and in case we take a day off.
We are beginning a series of blog posts to update you guys on what goes on with our farm operation. There will be a new blog post every month so come back to stay up to date on everything VEGGI!
Here’s our first post for September 2015:
Last season, the farm team began book club nights with Masanobu Fukuoka’s One-Straw Revolution. We studied his self-developed philosophy on agriculture. The goal is to work more closely with nature to grow food, instead of working to dominate nature. Continue reading
With the closure of Good Eggs New Orleans, we’ve received lots of questions on where you can order our tofu, soy milk, and produce. We had these items on Good Eggs for over two years and we appreciate all the people who have used the online market to buy our products.
Currently, we have all our flavors of tofu at both Hollygrove Market & Farm and at the New Orleans Food Co-op. Our soy milk and other products can be bought directly from us at the Crescent City Farmers Market on Thursdays starting in a few weeks (Late Summer). Some of our produce items will be available at the New Orleans Food Co-op later in the year as well.
We also currently offer a weekly CSA box that includes all of our in-season products including the option for tofu and soy milk. Click on the CSA tab above to find out more.
We’d like to thank the people at Good Eggs who allowed us to be more accessible to many of our customers. Going forward, we hope that our customers will be able to find our products as easily as possible through our current markets and CSA.
Thank you for your continued support!
VEGGI’s goal is to create jobs for community members through sustainable urban agriculture. The members in our cooperative are small farmers who take it upon themselves to grow fresh, natural, sustainably grown vegetables in an area that lacks access to healthy food. Our CSA program is an important piece in achieving our goals and helps support the ability of our farmers to grow food all year long.
In mid-October of 2014, we started turning a school’s 4-year dream into reality – by partnering with ReThink to build a garden for the students of Edgar P. Harney School of Excellence. The young Garden Visionaries of their school wanted students to have curriculum tied to learning how to grow food and eat healthier. They now have an outdoor environment in their school backyard to do just that. Continue reading
The weather is cooling down for fall but we’re just getting warmed up.. for bridging interracial gaps that is. We are beginning a collabo program with Rethink – 9 months of education on food justice with 14 young people, ranging in age from 12 to 22. Together, we will become stronger advocates by learning about the food history of major ethnic groups in New Orleans, maintaining a plot on the VEGGI farm and forming our own solidarity economy.