Our CSA box is available for order now! Order below!
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.
April 20, 2015: Today marks the 5 year anniversary of the BP Oil Spill when the Deepwater Horizon rig gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days straight, displacing nearly all of the fisher folk and shrimpers in New Orleans East overnight. Back then, nearly 1/3 of the New Orleans East community worked in the seafood industry- fishing, shrimping, processing seafood or working the docks- and 2/3 of the shrimping vessels were Vietnamese owned. After a series of community-led meetings, folks decided to take matters into their own hands using the same spirit of resistance that they embodied to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina, to protest and successfully stop the operation of a landfill from polluting the neighborhood. The BP oil disaster was another devastating hit on the New Orleans East community and was the culminating impetus that led to the creation of VEGGI Farmers Cooperative.
Although VEGGI is still pretty new on the urban farming scene, word of our co-op has spread as far as Japan. Back in August of 2014, NHK, the largest and only public TV station in Japan, flew in to visit VEGGI. Accompanying them was an NHK camera man, a translator, Professor Nagamatsu of Safety Science from the University of Kansai who specializes in the study of disaster recovery, and three college student reporters who were first-hand survivors of the Tohoku quake/tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. Japan was still struggling to recover from these catastrophes and they wanted to learn how to rebuild a stronger, more resilient society and how to better prepare their community for future crisis.
VEGGI took NHK on a tour of New Orleans East, highlighting the array of processing plants and factories, a glimpse of the environmental injustice that’s sadly too familiar in communities of color. The NHK crew was pleasantly surprised that in the middle of New Orleans East, dotted with blighted properties and overgrown landscape was our lush 1.5 acre plot of land where folks are growing vegetables by using natural farming methods (no pesticides), churning out stuffed tofu and fragrant pandan soy milk, essentially creating our own jobs and ways to feed our families. They enjoyed tasting fragrant basil picked straight from our aquaponics greenhouses and chatting with our growers, while VEGGI growers learned about the recovery efforts in Japan. Something magical happens when communities, even those separated by language, history and thousands of miles, come together to share their struggles and triumphs. The barriers collapse and we begin to remember that WE are the ones who hold the secrets to our own recovery and revival. Suddenly there’s less pressure to search outwards and we realize that when our communities are united, we can work together to build creative solutions towards a better future.