We like to divide things up into opposites. Like married or single. Man or woman. Rural or urban. Increasingly, though, we’re coming to find out that things are not so black and white. Marriage alternatives and pansexuality are subjects for shows that probably don’t wander into the realm of business, but the dichotomy of rural and urban does. Even right down to rural and urban dirt.
We’ve spent generations building cities and suburbs that have pushed anything rural out to where dirt is cheap. And we’ve thrown organic waste into plastic bags – when we could have been recycling it as compost.
Times are changing. Today, right here in New Orleans, whether you have a home or business, you can recycle your organic waste and have it made into compost. And you can buy compost for your garden or farm, by the bag or by the ton.
All this is thanks to Nico Kreybill and Nico’s business, Schmelly’s Dirt Farm.
Very few people are doing more to blur the line between urban and rural than Grant Estrade. Grant and his wife Kate are the founders and operators of Laughing Buddha Nursery and Local Cooling Farms. Under these two banners, it’s extraordinary how much Grant and Kate have going on. Here’s a short list:
– Their nursery in Metairie specializes in helping people grow plants naturally and organically.
– They sell all the material you need to brew your own beer, wine, or vinegar.
– They sell everything you need for hydroponics and aquaponics.
– They organically raise pigs, goats, and chickens.
– They sell their own brand of soil, called Bag of Plenty.
– They sell their organically raised meat and produce at their Metairie location.
– You can subscribe to their co-op and get organic protein and produce delivered.
The drift away from urban dwellers getting our hands dirty started a long time ago. Probably around the time of the industrial revolution, in 1800. It would take an Armageddon-like catastrophe to turn us all back into farmers, but there is definitely some middle ground between urban and rural dirt that gives us the best of both worlds.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Commander’s Palace. You can find photos from this show by Jill Lafleur, and more, at our website https://link.chtbl.com/LYuaasWe
You can hear more lunchtime conversation about New Orleans urban farming here.