Hollygrove Market & Farm -- Urban Farmstead Report to the Community (2009)
Hollygrove Market & Farm started organizing, purchasing, and providing access to locally grown foods in October 2008. Since our birth we have worked with over 50 farms, transformed an acre of blighted property into community garden plots, composted several thousand pounds of unmarketable material, and given over $5,000 in edible donations to other food/social justice community organizations. Our unique location off South Carrollton provides the surrounding neighborhoods with a centralized location in which to take part in the city’s only CSA (community supported agriculture). A CSA can be defined as a community of citizens who pay a farmer, in advance, for a season of produce thus supporting & sharing the risks with the farm. A weekly CSA share consists of fresh fruits & vegetables while on occasion they may sometimes supply stake-holders with fresh dairy, pastured meats, flowers etc.
We, of course, have modified this somewhat. There is no advance payment and the share comes from many, different farmers, depending upon the season. Nevertheless, our farmers can depend upon us to buy what they grow, thus reducing risk. Hollygrove Market & Farm operates as farm collective not only with rural growers but also with urban growers in the New Orleans area. In conjunction with our farm collective our partners, New Orleans Food & Farm Network, AARP-La., and Trinity Christian Community also strive to share resources, such as labor, through strong volunteer networks. Our partners have also provided financial support for creating lasting community initiatives such as our mentor farmer program. This model of a CSA-style farm collective provides greater opportunity among many rural and urban growers with an outlet to move the local foods they produce thus further stimulating a regional economy. Hollygrove Market & Farm’s collective has successfully provided access to fresh local foods not only to the Hollygrove neighborhood but to other surrounding underserved communities and Greater New Orleans.
Our Average Food Miles.
The average distance, nationally, fresh food travels from farm to table is currently in the neighborhood of 1,500 miles (one way). During the delay from farm to table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses it vitality, not to mention the carbon footprint. The average distance the produce purchased by HFF travels is 181 miles (round trip).
Our Local Diversity.
We have worked with over 50 farms since our start in October 2008. The largest farm in the collective is an eighth generation strawberry farm with 40 acres is in production at one time.
2 farms are certified Organic.
10 practice organic methods but are not certified.
15 employ alternative/sustainable methods such as crop rotation, minimal pest control, composting, rotational grazing, etc.
14 use some alternative methods as well as conventional management practices.
9 are conventional* producers of fresh fruits and veggies.
*Conventional farming: a farming system with out the application of alternative methods. The small family farms we work with limit their conventional methods of pest management and fertilizers as it is not cost-effective to intervene with pest management unless absolutely necessary.
Our Local Economic Impact.
Hollygrove Market & Farm works diligently to keep our dollars within the local economy. We purchase from small, family owned farms and locally-owned businesses whenever possible. Research shows that purchasing goods and services locally strengthens the economic foundation of a community.
In 2009, we purchased $168,333 of produce from local growers and $64,106 in goods and services from local businesses. Using a standard multiplier effect, this translates into approximately $1,000,000 of economic impact for our local economy.
As an urban farmstead and market, along with our partners whose focus is food and social justice, we are building a strong foundation to create lasting community initiatives.
This is only possible because of you, the Hollygrove Market & Farm patrons. On behalf of all our staff and our family farmers we say Thanks a million!!