From the Ground Up, In New Orleans

new orleans

When the levees gave way in New Orleans during Katrina two years ago, more than a foot of floodwater inundated the schoolyard at the Green Charter School on Valence Street. But due to a chance meeting between Alice Waters and New Orleans resident Randy Fertel (son of the founder of Ruth Chris Steakhouse and the administrator of her Chris's foundation), Waters's Edible Schoolyard program, which has proved such a success in Berkeley, is being re-created here. With a few raised beds and a landscape architect's master plan in the works, the children at Green Charter School are now enrolled in garden and cooking classes that, according to Green's director, Donna Cavato, "perfectly replicate the style of urban gardening so typical of New Orleans, one that mixes vegetables, herbs, and ornamental plants on small plots of land or in courtyards. The Edible Schoolyard is a story of rebirth, a chance for kids and adults to reclaim their land and also part of the community they lost."

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