Wednesday, January 27, 2010
- 40 mama cows with 40 calves
- a couple of bulls
- 100 chickens(Wayne likes the idea of converting an old schoolbus minus engine to a rolling coop)
- 20 nannygoats
- 1 good billy
- ducks, rabbits, turkeys and pigs have rolls, too, in time...
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Our farm is a productive outdoor classroom with 3 new goats, 47 chickens, an orchard of infant fruit trees, seven growing piles of compost, and rows and rows of greens ... mizuna, collards, onions, arugula, kale, cabbage, red lettuce … the list goes on. Since this past September, we’ve built over 100 cubic yards of soil. Between the daily food waste from Whole Foods on Magazine, our weekly load of coffee grounds from NOBrew on the West Bank, horse manure from the Kelly’s (Mrs. Kelly is a teacher at MLK, Mr. Kelly a local contractor) stables, and mulch and wood chips from local tree clippers, we’re producing a whole lot of soil.
At this point, we’re using our soil on our own farm, but we’ve done the math and know that this is a city hungry for excellent soil to grow excellent food. With the necessary resources to expand our soil building initiative (staffing, equipment, some funding) we could triple our current production rate, create a part time paying job with dignity for a couple of our students and a revenue stream to continue our work.
Every Sunday morning, on a rotating basis, we operate our market outside of a different neighborhood church. On the first morning with a new church, our students and staff speak with the congregation during service. This semester, we’ve worked most closely with St. David’s Catholic, Greater Little Zion, New Testament Baptist, and All Souls Episcopal. Each Sunday afternoon, we set up the market outside of Our School where, more often than not, our youngest neighbors help us staff the tables. They tend to be excellent salespeople. Hollygrove Market and Farm is supplementing produce from our own farm with produce grown by Louisiana and Mississippi farmers. We’re excited about our first three months operating the market, and are looking forward to what’s ahead, as we continue to grow more healthy, delicious, fresh food and continue to offer our neighbors local and regional produce at the most affordable price in town.
Our Afterschool Program
Albrian enjoying a salad with the rest of the crew after one Sunday market.
Our fledgling school is becoming a powerful anchor for community redevel opment that aims to empower youth, create local jobs, bring residents back, and use green, energy efficient, and healthy design. We’ve assembled a team of partners to plan and implement—with our students—neighborhood redevelop ment around the school, where until now only 10% of families have managed to return. With our Build Our Village curriculum, OSBG will train youth in areas of construction, trade skills, urban planning, and sustainable design.
“Our Village” is driven by the mission of Our School at Blair Grocery and establishes a model where development acts as a local economic engine, employer, and educative opportunity. Our Village is a safe, low-impact community which fosters a sustainable human interface with nature. Designed to increase food security, mitigate stormwater, and integrate capacity builders and safety responders into the neighborhood, Our Village cultivates a secure educational environment beyond school walls. Built by small, local contractors and students at Our School at Blair Grocery, Our Village expands economic opportunity and mentors the next generation of stewards for sustainable community.
Within “Our Village,” we are preparing a proposal for EnviRenew’s Sustainable New Homes Grant Program, where we plan to develop 25 sustainable homes between the OSBG campus and the Dr. King Charter campus. The plan would offer incentives for teachers, first responders, small contractors, and other community capacity builders to purchase the new homes, bringing more families back to the neighborhood.
Our Upcoming Year
Volunteers from Occidental College unloading soil on New Years day. The soil was composted on our farm. The land is our newest lot, located right across the street from Our School. We'll start growing in just a bit.
There seems to be more to mention here than is appropriate for a single blog post. We could have spent time talking about our new monthly movie and workshop series. Or the grant proposal we submitted to the USDA’s Community Food Projects program to purchase more land, expand our workshop series, open a community kitchen, and pay our youth for their work. Or our field trip with Louisiana Bucket Brigade to the oil refineries in Chalmette, where residents living on the fenceline of big oil are fighting for their community’s health and livelihood. Or the rural land in Tangipahoa, where with the mayor and the city’s Weed and Seed program, we’ll be growing more food and building more soil on what is going to be a big ol outdoor classroom for our students and the youth of Tangipahoa. So, please keep in touch, stay tuned, and continue offering all your support. More is to come.