One way we become better gardeners is by learning from others who do it well. Last Friday the Junior Master Gardeners' Club got to do just that, taking an after-school trip to Hollygrove Market and Farm. The site, located in the Hollygrove neighborhood just a few miles from school, includes a small urban farm, a community garden and a produce market that gets all its vegetables from small farms in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Scholars and Dreamkeepers tour the grounds at Hollygrove Market and Farm
A friendly and knowledgeable Hollygrove staff member took scholars around the farm showing us their rows of irrigated crops, state-of-the-art aquaponics system for vertical and soil-free growing, and their chicken coop. Scholars were already familiar with some features at Hollygrove including the compost system, drip irrigation, and the varieties of produce growing in the ground.
Hollygrove's soil-free aquaponics system
Just like the Dreamkeeper Garden, Hollygrove shows that it's possible to grow healthy food sustainably in an urban environment. It takes a little space and a lot of hard work, but it's so important to grow food that nourishes us, brings people together, improves our local food economy, and makes New Orleans just a little more beautiful.
Chickens and their coop
We hope our trip to Hollygrove gave our scholars some good ideas to take back to the Dreamkeeper Garden. More importantly, we hope that scholars will become leaders in imagining what a better food future might look like.