The latest news from the Recirculating Farms Coalition. Learn how we're supporting sustainable farming and how you can get involved!
Recirculating Farms Coalition
About the Recirculating Farms Coalition

Who We Are
The Recirculating Farms Coalition supports building eco-friendly farms that use clean recycled water to grow local, accessible, fresh food and create stable green jobs.

Contact Us
5208 Magazine Street, #191
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115

Phone: (844) Rec-Farm
Fax: (813) 774-6595



We love to hear from you! Please contact us with your feedback, questions, and suggestions!

RFC Joins Amazon Smile Program! This year Recirculating Farms Coalition joined in a program that helps  non-profit organizations - at no cost to our supporters! If you shop on Amazon - you can use instead - just select Recirculating Farms Coalition in Louisiana as your charity - and Amazon will automatically donate a percentage of anything you buy to us - at no extra charge to you! Please help support all our wonderful farmers and the many public programs we offer by signing up for Amazon Smile today!
Join with us
Become a member or make a donation and help recirculating farms and farmers thrive!

USDA "EQIP"s Urban Growers!

Through the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative, a program funded by EQIP, the USDA supported our farm in New Orleans, Growing Local NOLA, in the planning and purchasing of a brand new hoophouse! The Environmental Quality Incentive Program is designed to aid farmers in implementing practices that improve conservation and quality of agricultural resources. Our new hoophouse will help protect our crops from extreme temperatures and harsh weather, and extend the growing season of particularly tricky crops like tomatoes and leafy greens! If you have interest in applying for the program - contact John Boatman at:
RFC Joins USDA in Online Chat Re: Veterans and Farming 

On Thursday, September 17, USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden led a panel of veteran farmers and veteran training organizations, including Marianne Cufone on behalf of Recirculating Farms Coalition. The group discussed, via an online chat through Google+ Hangout, opportunities available for returning service members who are looking for long-term careers in farming and ranching. 

Many veterans show interest in agriculture because they feel that farming helps them successfully transition to civilian life ad provides them with a way to continue serving their community.

The event allowed RFC to highlight the assorted benefits of water-based growing methods for veterans. During the talk, Marianne Cufone noted, “[w]e learned these growing methods are especially useful for more senior or disabled vets – they are very versatile in design and so inspire creativity, they can be inside or outdoors and so offer flexibility, growing food often leads to healthier eating, and socializing, and in terms of physical requirements these systems are usually vertical – in towers, or elevated in beds – so they don’t require much bending and there is no weeding!” Click here to read Marianne's full remarks, or here to watch a video of the chat!

Could it be? The air is cooling, Saints fever is in high gear, and we had our coffee on the porch this morning! Fall is here, and we're grateful for so many things — most of all YOU. This is our last newsletter of the year - happy holidays, and see you in 2016!

Read on to find out what we've been up to, and stop by to hang out in the garden! We're now back to regular times: open garden hours from 10am to 4pm every day except Sunday. If you don't see the community garden open on Carondelet - pass by our market farm at 1735 St Andrews!

Katrina 10 Day of Service at the Garden

August 29th marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, prompting a citywide day of service from New Orleans East to Algiers and beyond. We were grateful to welcome over 120 volunteers at our gardens. HUGE thanks to all who came out to weed, sweep, paint, mulch and beautify the Carondelet and St. Andrew's sites. Check out some pics below — full gallery here.

At the Farms!
Katrina 10 volunteers were integral in finishing the St. Andrew's hoop houses and prepping the garden for fall — BIG HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE!

New Mini CSA Begins!
We're SO excited to announce the start of our own mini CSA! Each week, our members receive a combination of 1/2 dozen fresh eggs, assorted herbs, fruits and/or seasonal vegetables plus a weekly surprise - like local honey, pesto sauce, salsa, pickles, jam and more - for just $15 per week. Let us know if you'd like to get on the wait list to be a CSA member by emailing

Our market farmer trainings end for this year with a bang in the Advanced Growing class, a one-day bonanza of hands-on growing experience. Customize your curriculum with special topic classes in:
  • Irrigation design and build
  • Making soil, plant propagation and transplanting
  • Compost tea
  • Building beehives and raised garden beds
  • Hydroponics/aquaponics setup
WHERE | Growing Local NOLA Farm Site
1750 Carondelet St. New Orleans LA 70115
WHEN | Saturday, December 5, 9am - 5pm

Everyone MUST RSVP. The class will be capped at 30 participants due to space limitations - so please let us know if you plan to attend so we can have enough food, supplies etc. for everyone.

E-mail: or call: 813-785-8386

NOLA Community Food & Farming Events

Growing Local NOLA regular classes are done for the year and will re-start after Mardi Gras, but we'll still let you know about all our special events coming up and a weekly list of exciting food and farm related classes from around the city!

Saturday, November 28, 11 am
Southbound Gardens: Growing Veggies in NOLA, Easy and Affordable, Part 2
@ the Southern Food and Beverage Library, 1609 OC Haley. (NOT the SoFaB Museum -- library is 1 block away). Topics include: The garden ecosystem, organic pest control and fertilization, compost, and mulch, mulch more.

Friday, December 1, 5:00pm
Village Capital: Happy Hour with Food/Agriculture Startups
@ Propeller Incubator, 4035 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA
Village Capital, the Idea Village, Propeller, Reily Foods, and Access Ventures are partnering to host the country's oldest national program for food and agriculture startups in New Orleans.
Come hear from these ventures and see how they're changing the way we grow, distribute and market food, fiber and textiles. If you have an interest in being at the forefront of agricultural innovation, you can't miss meeting these entrepreneurs! All are welcome and drinks and light fare will be provided.

Marianne Cufone appointed to USDA Task Force! 
We are excited to announce that our Executive Director, Marianne Cufone, has been appointed to the National Organic Program Hydroponic and Aquaponic Task Force!  The team will prepare a report for the National Organic Standards Board about current hydroponic and aquaponic practices and how those  practices align with current USDA organic regulations. For years RFC has been calling for USDA to create specific organic standards for hydroponics, and aquaponics. We are hopeful the task force will be the first steps in that process moving forward.

ACTION NEEDED: Call for Volunteers
WE NEED YOU! We are planting and digging and weeding and mulching - and meanwhile giving tours, advising our gardeners and more. We REALLY could use some help round the farm! We have opportunities for every kind of skill, and you can get the warm fuzzy feeling of giving back to the community — a win-win for us all! Email us to come on by and lend a hand or two!

Volunteer Feature: Antonio Alonzo

Our featured volunteer is Antonio Lizano Alonzo!

French Quarter native and longtime Growing Local class attendee, Antonio got into sustainable growing through an interest in nutrition. A few years ago, he realized that “the shrewdest way to access healthy food was to find it from local farmers. That started my interest in growing food myself.” 

“Going to farmer’s markets and buying the produce directly from people who grow it — that made me so much more invested. It isn’t grown for stability or shelf life or transportability; it’s grown for eating it right off the plant. I was immediately really interested in that intersection of economical and ecological stability.”

Antonio discovered Growing Local — and the New Orleans urban farming community — through a writing assignment. “I came to the first chicken workshop that Ica was doing on the farm and ended up interviewing a bunch of people who were raising chickens. I fell in love with the scene and stayed there.”

After getting hooked on urban farming, Antonio kept coming back to Growing Local. “It was the community classes that kept me coming back. Having a regular appointment time with a community that cared about these issues, growing sustainable produce, bringing the movement to the city — it was invigorating. I felt like I could be myself.”

Antonio went on to become even more involved with the farm, serving as maitre’d at our EatLocal dinner and even spearheading a K10 volunteer group on the farm. He also has a plot of SproutNOLA, part of the ReFresh Project, growing basil, eggplant and okra behind the Whole Foods on South Broad. “I also grow some stuff in a straw bale on my patio,” he says. “It was tomatoes this summer, but I think I’m going to put a moringa tree in it for the winter.”

HUGE thanks to Antonio and everything he does for our garden!

Support Healthy, Fresh Food In Schools!
RFC and partners are working to bring local fresh food to schools nationwide. Right now, there are farm-to-school programs being developed in Louisiana and nationally!  Let our lawmakers know you support farm-to-school programming, give them a call, write them a letter or e-mail — join us in pushing for farm-fresh food for our children!

Urban Ag Bill passed
Students from Loyola Law, farmers and food advocates joined with RFC to move the Louisiana Legislature to pass an urban agriculture incentive bill. The new law allows for a reduction in taxes on land used for farming. The hope is that more landowners will now lease their property to farmers at affordable rates. The intent is to increase access to land in Louisiana for farming and thus, the availability of local food! Now each city council must pass ordinances that implement the tax reduction locally.
Featured Recipe: Hot Mulled Apple Cider
As the weather turns colder, there's nothing quite like a steaming cup of apple cider to warm you up from the inside out. The secret to this recipe? Roughly juicing the apples yourself, leaving the final product full of nutritious pulp. You can also use half-storebought juice to lighten the workload, or just adapt the delicious spice profile to your favorite pre-made cider.

Click here to get the recipe, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman!

Our mailing address is:
5208 Magazine St., #191
New Orleans, LA 70115