The Lower 9th Ward was arguably the epicenter of the massive flooding that followed the failure of the levees after Hurricane Katrina on Aug 29, 2005. While the neighborhood will forever be marked by that epic event, it’s not all that identifies this historic and intrinsic part of New Orleans. This week, in the first of a new “Voices” feature, NolaVie speaks with some of the residents of the Lower Nine, about their lives there, the people there, the community there. Today we document the work of David Young, a semifinalist for PitchNola 2014: Living Well, whose projects in agricultural sustainability have fostered hope and goodwill in rebuilding New Orleans.
People have tried endlessly to influence the world and its citizens through power, wealth, charisma, and a combination of the three. David Young is changing the lives of New Orleanians with determination, kindness, and a ton of bees.
Young’s network of bee farms, Just Bee Cause, is a campaign of Young’s larger project called Capstone, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the Lower 9th Ward dedicated to creating stable and sustainable communities. Capstone has developed 26 previously blighted properties into functioning farms and orchards that nurture produce—such as lettuce and okra—as well as the occasional goat. When Young first began bee farming two and a half years ago, he realized that the revenue from his honey could cover the costs of running other Capstone farms, allowing him to give away his products to those in need. He has since expanded Just Bee Cause into 24 hives at several locations throughout the Lower 9th Ward.
Please; enjoy the bees.