Located on a seven-acre site in New Orleans' City Park, Grow Dat Youth Farm operates a two-acre sustainable farm. Each year, we grow and harvest an average of 25,000 pounds of fresh produce. Seventy percent is sold at our farm stand and at farmers' markets (run by our youth employees). Thirty percent is distributed through our Shared Harvest program, to low-income residents who otherwise have little or no access to fresh food.
Our Approach to Sustainable Agriculture
At Grow Dat Youth Farm, we use chemical-free farming methods to build a resilient sustainable agricultural system. To us that means producing food by supporting natural ecological systems and stewarding natural and human resources for the future. We do not use chemical-based pesticides or fertilizers. Instead, we utilize techniques such as cover cropping, composting, companion planting, farmscaping and crop rotation to stimulate micro-biological activity and soil health.
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, including 2014 AIA Louisiana Honor and Members Choice Awards, a 2012 SEED Award, and a 2012 AIA New Orleans Design Award of Honor.
The seven retrofitted shipping containers that constitute our eco campus house our offices, teaching kitchen, youth locker rooms, composting toilets, cold storage, post-harvest handling area and farm tool storage. The bioswale under the front wooden walkway directs excess water into the bayou, managing water sustainably and preventing flooding.
To learn more about our farm and to find out about tours click here.
The City Park birding corridor preserves and creates an essential habitat for the birds of South Louisiana. This project is a collaboration among the Audubon Society of Louisiana, the local Chapter of the Audubon Society here in Orleans Parish, City Park and Grow Dat Youth Farm. Enjoy the ‘birdwalk’ that overlooks the bayou and provides great opportunities to view resident and migratory birds. This beautiful space creates tremendous learning opportunities for our youth employees, students visiting on field trips and the wider public to learn about how to protect spaces in our region that are critical to the on-going survival of many incredible species of birds.