Monday was spent doing something distinctly different. In 2005 New Orleans was hit by a massive hurricane that wrought utter devastation on the poorest portions of the city. You don’t hear about that so much any more. And you don’t see it downtown or in the French Quarter but the damage remains. The Lower Ninth Ward has about 25% of the population it had before the hurricane. Moreover, attempts to rebuild have been stymied by infighting and political corruption.
Why am I telling you all this? One of my former students, Rob Huffman, has become deeply involved with both community education and urban agriculture as a means of renewal here. So, we spent the afternoon with him, touring the city and hearing about the work that he and his partner working through a number of local and national non governmental organizations have done in trying to create sustainable agriculture as a means of urban renewal.
After having lived and worked here for almost a decade, Rob was able to share with us the perspectives of someone who is both an outsider and who understands the place. We both feel as if we understand this fascinating and complexly troubled city far better than before. Thank you, Rob.
|In 2004 this was a densely built urban neighborhood, home to approximately 20,000 people. Today about 2,000 live here.|
|Many of the newer arrivals have engaged in various urban renewal experiments, including agriculture|
|(Left to right) Sharon, Rob, some goats.|
|Neither of us has ever been here before|
|Playful table setting|
|Our hotel on Decatur|
|This for Tuesday|