But a similar effort is underway in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, something I learned about in my latest e-news alert from American Farmland Trust.
Villere Urban Farm is based in the city's Lower Ninth Ward and is turning vacant lots into urban farm plots to feed the neighborhood. The not-for-profit is already beginning to develop a community supported agriculture model.
It looks like a temporary solution, or at least that's how this is being presented on Villere's site:
After meeting with several elderly property owners, its become clear that rebuilding all of their properties, including rentals, has become momentarily impossible. Unwilling to sell their land to the unknown intentions of buyers, these residents have agreed to lease their properties to lowernine.org for nearly nothing in exchange for maintaining the properties and developing them into intensive garden space, much like a farm.It's a fantastic and monumental land restoration project. After all, the project won't work until the land is cleared of debris and the soil is healthy enough - clean enough - to safely grow food.
It's been a while since I've been to New Orleans. I went not long after Katrina to report on how the justice system was rebuilding in the aftermath of the devastation.
There's been much progress in the region, but so much work to do. It's encouraging that this urban farming effort seems to be catching on.
It could be an integral part of the city's rebirth.
Photo: Cold frames made from old windows on Villere Farm in New Orleans.