The City of Houston is embracing community food production, from rooftop gardens to urban schoolyards, Houston is aiming to increase local food awareness and community involvement. Below, Food Tank has compiled a list of ten urban farming projects in Houston that deserve attention.
City Hall Victory Garden and Farmer’s Market is part of an initiative to create downtown areas that are sustainable and green. They’re located in Tranquility Park at 400 Rusk, with fruit trees, plants, edible flowers, herbs, and more, all planted by volunteers.
The Feast of Artisans Farmer’s Market, located in the Woodlands Mall, supports local and independent artists, farmers, designers, and crafters. They serve beverages from several breweries, which are highlighted along with local food, during frequent events like Oktoberfest, the Winter Festival, and Mardi Gras.
The Grove Rooftop Garden and Restaurant is located in Discovery Green and has a rooftop garden that allows the restaurant to serve the freshest local dishes possible along with cocktails. Not only do diners benefit, but Texas chef Robert Del Grande’s rooftop garden also contributes to a clean and green environment.
The Gulf Coast Food Project at the University of Houston combines food studies with community engagement to maintain three ongoing research projects – Houston Eats, Women in Food, and La Louisane en Tejas. Through documentary screenings and cultural events, the Gulf Coast Food Project promotes the region’s selection of food in order to expand Houston’s minds and bellies.
Home Sweet Farm, located off the Bluebonnet Trail in Washington County, is Houston’s first community supported agriculture (CSA) and family-operated farm. Heirloom varieties of vegetables and herbs grow on the farm adjacent to grass-fed beef, lamb, and dairy goats. Home Sweet Farm delivers to various farmer’s markets around Houston and also opens its doors to weekly farm school workshops. The farm school aims to teach skills in environmentally sustainable, natural methods of family farming.
The Last Organic Outpost focuses its efforts on Houston’s underserved areas, empowering communities by teaching about sustainable agriculture so residents can maintain a healthy and safe local food economy. They “envision growing ‘Food Everywhere’ and seeding an Urban Agricultural District that cultivates our region’s food and supports local farmers to thrive despite economic, environmental, health and social challenges.”
Moon Dog Farms is a fruit orchard and vegetable garden that follows USDA guidelines, giving its products the title ‘Certified Naturally Grown.’ Just outside the Houston area in Santa Fe, Texas, Moon Dog Farms supplies local famers’ markets and restaurants.
The Parks and Recreation Department’s Urban Gardener Program helps would-be urban gardeners find space to develop their own community gardens. Spaces have been developed in eighteen separate parks and government grounds. These plots give crowded neighborhood residents a place to grow their own healthy food.
The Rawfully Organic Co-op not only provides fresh fruits and vegetables to the community, but also creates awareness on health and environmental issues. The co-op has over 6,000 member within the Houston area. Rawfully Organic feeds more than 500 families each week and focuses on the benefits of eating diets high in raw fruits and vegetables while making organic affordable for all.
Rice University Farmer’s Market offers the goods and services of a farmer’s market and goes a step further by also providing activities that educate attendees on the benefits of local produce. Each Tuesday, the residents of Houston are encouraged to enjoy the fresh food and the family-friendly environment.
Urban Harvest is a nonprofit organization that supports three main programs: community gardens, farmers markets, and gardening education for adults and children. From school gardens to therapy gardens to donation gardens, this organization teaches Houston residents how to grow and share local food through classes and hands-on experience. It also manages online networking through its website, connecting local gardeners, vendors, and volunteers with each another.