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Herbaceous Terrace

A Look at the CBD Rouses Newest Produce Source: The Roof

CBD - In November, residents got a new addition to their grocery selection when the new, swanky Rouses opened. Customers enter into a café with gelato and pastries, there’s a wide array of fine cheeses, and there’s even a sommelier to help you pair them with the best wines. On May 31, the grocery experience is growing even further, as these grocers will be the first of their kind to sell herbs grown aeroponically on their own rooftop. 


Instead of scavenging from a variety of sources for the fresh ingredients, Rouses decided to skip the middleman and create their own herb garden that will feature basil, parsley, dill, tomatillo, thyme, mint and cilantro, just to name a few. In case you haven’t educated yourself in the freshest methods in gardening, “aeroponic,” simply means that the herbs will grow from air, not soil, said Rouses Executive Chef Jack Treuting.


In addition to saving space, Treuting said that the lack of soil also reduces pesticides, molds, and fungus issues dramatically.


“It’s a very eco friendly project, very sustainable,” he said.


Treuting worked with A.M.P.S. Nola (Aquaponic Modular Design Systems) to engineer the urban farm that he believes will save the store a lot of time, money, and energy.


“Most grocery stores are getting most of their vegetables from California," he said. "You’re looking at six days of transportation, a whole lot of diesel, a whole lot of work. This is actually going to be sold starting on the 31st, and I measured it the other day and it’s nine steps.” 


NoDef got to take a look at the vertical aeroponic Tower Garden that overlooks the downtown area. Treuting said the garden isn’t certified organic, but he feels confident the customers won’t need any proof.


“Someone asked the other day ‘is it organic?’ My answer to that is it’s better than organic. If I needed to certify it organic, I certainly could by using our practices, but by no means do I think I need to certify it,” Treuting told us. 


Eating local is just as important as practicing sustainable growing, Treuting believes. He hopes that the garden can benefit the community as well as the customers.


"For us at Rouses, it’s about selling local, supporting local, and the other piece of that is going to be education," he said. "I walked across the street to the international school, and we’ve got a student ambassador who’s going to work with us and learn about this.”


The garden launches on May 31, one day before New Orleans’ Eat Local Challenge ( The movement dares consumers to go 30 days eating  nothing but food that has been grown, caught, or raised within a 200 mile radius of the Crescent City.


The challenge began as a reaction to the effects of Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill on Louisiana’s seafood industry, when vegan activist Dr. Leslie Brown and community activist Lee Stafford brought the Eat Local Challenge to Louisiana. Brown and Stafford seek to raise awareness about the cultural, economic, environmental and nutritional benefits of eating locally sourced food.


For those seeking herbs, the CBD Rouses will surely be a destination. Donny Rouse points out that, “in our case, we’re growing food less than 100 ft. from our store.” 

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