Above and below: renderings of Press Street Gardens and The Boxcar food truck by Elizabeth Mossop of Spackman Mossop and Michaels
The Press Street Gardens and The Boxcar food truck are initiatives of The NOCCA Institute underwritten by the Trafigura Foundation, Coypu Foundation, blue moon fund, The Garden Study Club of New Orleans, Inc., and the Junior League of New Orleans.
Rows of vividly colored vegetables and cut flowers crisscrossed by grass pathways. A mouth-watering menu made with just-picked herbs and produce served at The Boxcar, the on-site food truck. Beds for a thousand experiments in biology, physics, chemistry and environmental science. All surrounded by a green fence covered in vining fruits and flowers.
Welcome to the Press Street Gardens, the newest addition to learning and mastery at NOCCA. The garden is a half-acre urban farm and outdoor lab designed to serve arts, academics and the community.
For Academic Studio students studying the consequences of encounter in humanities, the gardens can demonstrate how the Mississippi basin’s abundant ecosystem and the farming practices of so many cultures collided in our port city. They can learn how tomatoes of Mexican origin joined with the Native American practice of planting fish heads six inches below a plant produced the best possible fruit. Then in science classes they can discover the exact chemical processes involved.
For young chefs in the Culinary Arts program, the Press Street Gardens will provide produce, an appreciation for local food systems and rich experiences in cooking and menu design.
And for the community, Press Street Gardens will become a destination. Fresh dining; school field trips; gardening workshops; seed exchanges; programs supporting healthy eating; and sales of produce, herbs, flowers and Culinary Arts-created products will make Press Street Gardens a new NOCCA experience for all to enjoy.
The Press Street Gardens will feature:
- Beds dedicated to native and culturally significant Louisiana plants
- Extensive vegetable and herb gardens
- Cut flower garden
- Espaliered fruit trees
- Beds for science and humanities study
- Greenhouse and garden retail
- Shaded pergola for an outdoor classroom and events
- Kumquat, cotton and herb-lined fence, with vines of passion fruit, grapes and kiwi on the interior
- And a food truck called The Boxcar to serve diners and support garden operations
Stay tuned for many more details about these exciting projects!
Initially printed in The NOCCA Institute’s July 2013 Aspirations newsletter