In New Orleans, a Vietnamese Community Bounces Back with Urban Agriculture

The Dirt

vietfarmers
In 1975, there was a Vietnamese exodus after the fall of Saigon. Many of the Christian Vietnamese who supported the U.S.-allied government in the south fled. Some of them ended up in camps in the Midwest, at least until the Archdiocese of New Orleans invited some to come to the Gulf of Mexico, where the climate was more like what they were used to in Vietnam. Many of the Vietnamese were also fisherman, so the Roman Catholic church thought they’d have a better chance if they could pick up their old trade in Louisiana.

Now, almost 40 years later, there are 8,000 Vietnamese concentrated in a one-mile radius in New Orleans East. The community of fisherman was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and then the Deepwater Horizon debacle but found ways to come together and come back with sustainable urban farming. At the E.P.A’s Brownfields conference, Tap Bui, Mary…

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