When I worked at marketumbrella.org, one of the many projects that I helped design and run was our White Boot Brigade, the roaming shrimper market for added seasonal seafood sales. Rouse’s Supermarkets was an early supporter of the WBB, and we genuinely enjoyed working with this Houma-based family company. Since they gamely took on being the main grocery store chain in our city (when Sav-A-Center decided that post-Katrina New Orleans wasn’t for them), I for one was very happy as I knew them and knew their stores. New Orleanians are VERY picky about their “markets” (as stores are often called) and yet, the Rouse family has mostly met their needs. As for buying locally, they do buy, they do support local entrepreneurs. Farmers have a harder time getting their produce in there, but value-added farmers market vendors seem to be doing well.
They just opened a store a few blocks from the flagship Saturday farmers market in downtown New Orleans, and I think it will help both the market and the store. That store is the subject of this excellent story on their new rooftop garden.
The only supermarket in downtown New Orleans is the first grocery in the country to develop an aeroponic urban farm on its roof.
What exactly is an aeroponic urban garden?
Think vertical instead of horizontal. The garden “towers” use water rather than soil, and allow plants to grow upward instead of outward. It was developed by a former Disney greenhouse manager, and is used at Disney properties, the Chicago O’Hare Airport Eco-Farm and on the Manhattan rooftop of Bell Book & Candle restaurant.