THW Design's Instar Farms Rooftop Garden Tour | New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

THW invited guests to an exclusive rooftop tour of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center's Organic Garden in New Orleans. The new urban garden provides the freshest herbs and vegetables for Executive Chef Brandon Feld's seasonal menu.

There are benefits to being an early riser (with the help of Starbucks) as we were treated to this sunrise presentation.  Our group learned how the convention center and Instar Farms owner, Erika Nolan, worked together to select the plants and how the Convention Center is practicing Farm to Table techniques in an urban setting. Erika led a presentation where she described the installation and maintenance of the 3-foot-by-225-foot garden beds. They include tomatoes, cauliflower, herbs, root and leafy vegetables. Borage, marigold, nasturtium, and chamomile are some of the edible flowers planted with the vegetables. Basil, dill, oregano, and parsley are also interspersed in the plantings.

Erika tailored her talk to include how communities can incorporate these gardens to suit their residents and to enhance their dining and wellness programs.   We even got to sample the herbs and flowers. Incidentally, nasturtiums (literally meaning "nose twist" in Latin) taste like horseradish!