Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Plant it Forward :: Urban Farms in Houston

I took my little people to check out one of our sponsors, and y’all – it turned out to be a total gem of a  field.  Check it out ::

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A breathtaking half-acre farm sits in the middle of Montrose, my friends…did y’all know about this???  If I need a local  fruit and veggie fix, I usually just swing by a local farmer’s market, so when I heard about this place last year, it went in one ear…and straight out the other.  I’m a changed woman now, though.  Plant It Forward, the organization behind this farm and the mission they were founded on, will have you trading in your grocery cart for a reusable tote and a farm share after just one visit.

Before I get to all the highlights of our visit, let me share a little about this wonderful organization! Plant It Forward provides land and tools to refugees who have settled in Houston.  After these refugees {many who have spent years living in extreme conditions — just waiting to live the American dream} receive training at a model farm and some business assistance to help them sell their produce effectively, they are free to manage their own farms.  They can then sell their fresh produce to farmers markets, farm stands, farm shares, and restaurant sales — making that American dream a reality for these refugees.  A portion of each successful farm helps pave the way for future refugees to replicate and create more farms all across this great city.

There are already a number of Plant It Forward farms throughout Houston with the goal for many, many more.  Houston needs more healthy, fresh, and local food and produce.  How fortunate are we to have these Plant It Forward farms in our own backyard!? 

Now, back to our first visit to Plant It Forward —  when we pulled up to the farm, my girls crept slowly to the edge looking for the “farmer” in charge.  I think they were probably imagining a straw hat, some boots, hay…like a farmer they’ve seen in books and on tv.  We walked to the Farm Stand set up ahead and there we met Roy, the farmer, and his daughter Jasmine.  Like all of Plant it Forward’s farmers, Roy is a refugee, hailing from war-torn Congo.  He is captain of the land and proud to show off his hard work.

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For shoppers like us, who haven’t already purchased a weekly farm share, this farm stand is set up so you can pick and choose what works in your weekly menus.  Sweet potato, greens, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, okra, spinach, kale — all straight off the land where you are standing.  Pretty awesome, huh?  Even more special is that my 4 year olds “got it.”  “Like…waaiiiiitttttt mommy…these green beans used to be growing right next to the ones over there??”   They were so excited when Roy told us we could walk around and see everything still in the ground.  Even Owen was getting down in the dirt checking out the squash and GIANT cucumbers.  We saw endless tomato vines and rows of beets.  We saw it all, and I have to say this farm is now on our Wednesday afternoon agenda.  {We’ll see ya there today!}

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For those who have purchased a weekly farm share, a row of coolers filled with fresh-off-the-farm goodness lines the front of the property.  Roy will invite you to walk down the row picking and choosing the produce calling your name.  Squash blossoms or spinach? Okra or tomatoes? Kale or long green beans? Fill a bag that works for you.

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We packed our tote full and on the way home decided that a rainbow pizza was mandatory for dinner.  It’s amazing how throwing in the word rainbow to a recipe suddenly makes veggies tolerable in my house.

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Now you all want the recipe for rainbow pizza, huh? Ha, there really isn’t one.  Just pick up your fave store bought crust, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese.  Then sit with your kids and try to think of a vegetable for every color of the rainbow.  We were able to combine some veggies from our fridge with our Farm haul to get every color except blue! Red tomatoes, orange and yellow peppers, green cucumbers, and purple eggplant.  Follow the baking directions on the crust package and that’s it!  The girls really loved making their own pizzas and even loved cleaning their plates!

We’re signing up for a weekly farm share.  I’ve always wanted to do this, and being able to take my kids to visit Roy on Wednesdays, witnessing his hard work, while also reaping the benefits of eating fruit and veggies as fresh as these, just makes me giddy.  If you want to sign up with me, now is the time.  The deadline for the new season is August 29th.  Click over to Plant it Forward’s website to get the scoop! There are multiple farm locations all across Houston, and you even have options for the number of weeks you can participate.

I’ve been back to the farm every Wednesday since our first visit.  It’s just feels great to be there!  Meet me and my crew this week, won’t you?


 

Please Note :: Plant It Forward may be one of our valued sponsors, but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

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6 Responses to Plant it Forward :: Urban Farms in Houston

  1. Alyssa August 13, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    This is great! Is the farm stand only set up on Weds or other days during the week?

  2. breonna
    breonna August 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    This is amazing. I love finding out about this stuff in our city!

    • Jessica and Sarah
      Jessica and Sarah August 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Riiiiiiight! Me too!

  3. misty August 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    this sounds amazing. i LOVE this idea. whoever thought of helping refugees like this just makes me want to HUG THEIR NECK! chuck and i plan to check one of them out soon!!! so neat!!! thanks for sharing!

  4. Andrea S
    Andrea S August 16, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    love, LOVE! Plant it Forward is amazing!

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