Visit Our Farm
Our farm is located in the heart of New Orleans City Park. Look for the bright green shipping containers—our Eco Campus—between Pan Am Stadium and City Bark dog park. Parking is available just west of the Eco Campus.
Take a Learning Tour
Learning tours are for high-school, college and adult groups who want to visit our farm and learn more about our work and mission. They include:
- tour of our site and farm
- tour of our sustainably-designed Eco Campus
- brief organizational history
- information about our youth leadership programs
For a self-guided tour, we invite you to come out to the farm from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday from October through June to take a self-guided tour of our farm.
Take a Self-Guided Tour
We welcome you to enjoy the beauty of our farm at your own pace by taking a self-guided tour. During your tour you can visit our:
- Eco campus
Grow Dat’s eco campus was built and donated by students and staff at the Tulane City Center, part of the Tulane School of Architecture. Our eco campus has received a lot of attention nationally for the beauty, sustainability and function of the design. The seven retrofitted shipping containers that constitute our eco campus house the following:
- Post-harvest handling area and farm tool storage
- Cold storage—a giant walk-in cooler for our produce
- Outdoor classroom
- Teaching kitchen
- Office (upstairs)
- Youth locker rooms
- Bathrooms that utilize composting toilets and grey water
Water from the kitchen and bathroom is remediated by a system of natural plants and gravel, and eventually is processed back into the bayou surrounding our site.
The bioswale under the front wooden walkway directs excess water into the bayou, managing water sustainably and preventing flooding.
- Birding corridor
The entrance to the Birding Corridor is to the north of our Eco Campus, just past the bathroom. Grow Dat hosts the main entrance to the City Park Birding Corridor, which spans Scout Island, the Couturie Forest and many paths and walkways in the park. The Birding Corridor is a collaborative project among Audubon Louisiana, New Orleans City Park, Grow Dat Youth Farm and the Orleans Chapter of the National Audubon Society. This project establishes a network of spaces within City Park that are managed for the protection and enhancement of bird habitats to support conservation, education and the expansion of opportunities for urban dwellers to understand our natural environment through the appreciation of birds.
Our fields are located on the east side of our Eco Campus, running alongside Zachary Taylor Drive and the bayou. Our seven-acre site used to be a golf course before Hurricane Katrina, and is now home to more than seven distinctive fields, all growing sustainable produce for New Orleans. Forty percent of what we grow is our Shared Harvest, which is donated to those who need it most. Last year we grew 10,000 pounds of vegetables and sold $35,000 worth of produce through our Farm Share CSA, wholesale to restaurants and at our weekly farmer’s markets. This year our goals are to grow 12,000 pounds of food and earn $50,000 from the portion that we sell. We farm sustainably, using natural methods like composting and cover cropping, without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Common cover crops include iron/clay peas and sunn hemp, all of which give nitrogen to the soil. We grow dozens upon dozens of different kinds of fruits and vegetables, depending on the season, including lettuces, collard greens, arugula, broccoli, carrots, okra, beets, sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, potatoes, radishes, melons, Asian greens such as tat soi and mizuna, and many more. While wandering through our bountiful fields, you will likely stumble across:
- Seed beds
In the middle of the big main tee field, you will see small rectangular raised boxes. These are seed beds, where small starter plants such as lettuces are germinated and then transplanted into the fields. Look for drip irrigation tape that connects into the water main and provides water to our fields.
- Fruit trees
Lining major walkways and flanking the tee field, we have planted more than 50 fruit trees, which are now cultivated on our site. Trees include native satsuma, orange, lemon, grapefruit, fig and several varieties of banana (including Cavendish and Mysore). The NCAA partnered with Grow Dat and middle schoolers to plant many of our fruit trees during the Final Four basketball tournament in 2013. Many benefits come from our fruit trees, including fruit that can be sold or donated. The blossoms attract pollinators, and the trees are truly beautiful!
The compost area is located on the far southeast side of our site next to large groves of willow, palmetto and bald cypress trees. Our compost is made of decaying plant matter from the farm, and is kept in two long windrows. We turn the windrows regularly to help speed the decomposition process. Once the compost has fully broken down, we sift it to remove any large chunks and incorporate it into our fields to help nourish the soil and fertilize our growing plants.
- Seed beds
Please remember that we are often teaching on the farm and are unable to chat with visitors outside of planned meetings or volunteer days.