Grow Dat Youth Farm, a two-acre sustainable farm in New Orleans’ City Park, is on a mission to transform the city’s communities, environment, and each other by engaging in the meaningful work of growing healthy food.
More than 50 youth participate in Grow Dat’s Leadership and Advanced Leadership Programs every year. Through training and experience, young people from high schools across New Orleans learn skills related to sustainable farming, food justice, and unity.
In the Leadership Program, teenagers grow 12,000 pounds of food. Around 70% of food grown is sold and 30% of food is donated, bartered and sold at a subsidised cost to residents who traditionally lack access to fresh and local food. Grow Dat Youth Farm also sells its produce at farmer’s markets and to restaurants across New Orleans.
The city’s biggest urban farm also features a low-energy Eco Campus, housed in seven shipping containers. Built with sustainability at the forefront, the bioswale under the front wooden walkway of the Eco Campus directs excess water into the bayou, managing water sustainably and preventing flooding.
Grow Dat, which was founded in 2011, is modelled on a similar program in New Orleans, The Food Project. The Food Project currently hires over 140 youth to grow over 200,000 pounds of food per year.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, and entertainments. Rosa also works as a psychic, counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com