Sol Food Mobile Farm: Louisiana

| December 15, 2012
Sol Food Mobile Farm is back, but check out their last days on the road!
Hey There, from way down south in Louisiana! The Sol Food crew is in our final weeks of the national tour and we are filled with excitement about our final stops.
Our first stop in Louisiana was in Lafayette at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. We were connected to the hospital through Janie Eldrige, who is the child life specialist at WCH. After reading the article written about Sol Food in the Urban Farming magazine, Janie emailed us and asked for us to visit the hospital. We have never taken our bus to a hospital before, but we were more than happy to make the trip. When we arrived at the hospital, we parked near the children’s wing so that it was easy for them to get to the bus. For many of these kids, it was one of the few opportunities they had to leave their rooms and they were all thrilled to take a “field trip.” Many of the kids were a little shy at first, cautiously walking through the bus and looking at the plants. However, as soon as we asked if they wanted to see our “pets,” they all broke into grins and giggled as we showed them our giant box of worms. We were all very thankful for the opportunity to share our quirky bus with these bright kids from the Women and Children’s Hospital. We met so many sweet and curious kids, who were happy to be outside in the fresh air. It was a touching experience to share our realized dream with children who have dreams just as big.

The following day, we visited the Great Harvest Bread Company to give expos to all of the lunchtime customers. We were invited to the bakery by the gracious owners and we had a wonderful time meeting members of the community who were working for food justice in their community. After our expo, we headed over to the Freetown Farmers’ Market. There were artisans and farmers intermingled throughout the market. We met a potter who sourced all of his clay from the Lafayette river and made jams out of grapes and persimmons that he foraged along the river. We gave tours until the market ended and left with produce from some of the local farmers.
Our final day in Lafayette, we visited St. Pius Elementary School for a day of teaching with 6th graders and kindergardeners. St. Pius has a school garden that they are going to up-fit with new compost bins. As part of our expo with the 6th graders we taught about the components of compost and how to have a successful compost pile.
Lafayette was a wonderful town filled with friendly, people and beautiful community gardens. After we left Lafayette, we drove to Baton Rouge for a day trip. Our first visit in Baton Rouge was to the LSU Demonstration Garden at the Burden Center. This garden was created as a teaching space for students and teachers. Kiki Fontenot, the head horticulturist who showed us the garden, created the space in order to provide examples for teachers who were considering creating a garden at their school. The Demonstration Garden is also a wonderful teaching garden for kids of all ages. We were blown away by their butterfly garden and the creative methods they used to create garden beds.
After our visit to the Demonstration Garden, we drove over to the Washington Street Community Garden. We were greeted by excited community members, whom we shared stories with and helped in the garden. They have a wonderful group of people who work at the Washington Street Community Garden and we felt blessed to have met them.
After a week in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, we are headed to our final city…New Orleans!!

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Category: Featured, For Kids, Sol Food Mobile Farm

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