Recently in Hope Farms Category

Hope Farms

Volunteer Coordinator
Vote 0 Votes

hf.jpgHope Farms, a crown jewel in Recipe for Success Foundation's efforts to change the way children understand, appreciate, and eat their food, stands proudly at the intersection of Airport Blvd. and Scott St., just a stones throw from downtown Houston. The seven acre farm, which occupies the old Carnegie Vanguard High School campus, is located in the heart of the community within blocks of Woodson Middle School, Worthing High School and the Kipp Sunnyside campuses. Sunnyside happens to be one of Houston's largest food deserts where it is difficult for families to buy affordable and good-quality fresh food. Hope Farms bridges this gap by growing produce such as fresh greens, beans, letucces, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, herbs and fruit and selling it to neighbors at the onsite farm stand. Eventually Hope Farms will grow more than 190,000 pounds of fresh, healthy produce every year. It offers discounted prices for members of the community at the farm stand, and the Rolling Green Market, delivers fresh produce to families throughout Houston, making distribution of local, affordable food a city wide effort,.

Besides growing nutritious and good quality food Hope Farms provides jobs and internships for neighborhood youth and training for military veterans to become urban farmers, and hosts field trips, cooking and gardening classes for students and families. This past Wednesday was a perfect example, when students from Rodriguez Elementary visted the farm. They learned how it functions, and afterwards wrote haikus about what they had seen, smelled, and touched. After they learned how it was grown, the students finished up with a healthy snack prepared with the produce they helped harvest!

Hope Farms is working to build a strong presence within the entire community and extend its influence and benefits throughout the region. The Farm grows more than produce. In the fall, it will launch a robust schedule of cooking and gardening classes and farm events to give everyone a chance to learn more about where their food comes from, and how to prepare delicious, healthy meals from seasonal produce.

Here at Recipe for Success, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to achieve our mission of mobilizing the community to provide healthier diets for families by changing the way we think about and eat our food. Hope Farms has given us a wonderful new platform that we hope the entire city will embrace, celebrate and enjoy.

To learn more about how to buy fresh Hope Farms produce, to volunteer at the farm or to visit with your group, email Justin@recipee4success.org

Chronicle Reports on Hope

Recipe for Success
Vote 0 Votes

Chron image of Justin.jpgNonprofit Recipe for Success brings produce, jobs to Sunnyside as reported by John D. Harden / Houston Chronicle, August 7, 2017

By mid-morning, Justin Myers' hands were covered with dirt, his stubble dripped with sweat and his clothes smelled like the dark soil he was using to plant the upcoming season's crops.

He and six other volunteers arrived in Sunny-side at 6 a.m. Wednesday to tend to the okra, cabbage and peppers planted through winter and spring and to prepare for the farm's first autumn production. <<Read the entire article.>>

New Scholarship for Veterans

Recipe for Success
Vote 0 Votes

FArmer.jpgHope Farms celebrated Veterans Day 2016 with the announcement of a new workforce development scholarship for U.S Veterans interested in pursuing a career in urban agriculture. Our Veteran Farmer Training Scholaraships are designed to empower a new battalion of urban agriprenuers.

The scholarships, funded by United Healthcare Foundation, provide a twelve-month Hope Farmer Training Program, which includes full-time wages, hands-on classes in horticulture, the business of growing and distribution of produce, as well as college level coursework in financial literacy, accounting, banking and business planning. Members of the Houston business community will mentor the trainees, who will also benefit from specially curated course work at Houston Community College and University of Houston in a well-rounded workforce development program designed to foster entrepreneurship.

Two U.S. Veterans will be awarded the scholarship in early 2017. The Foundation will gradually increase the number of annual awards to Veterans to a total of eight by 2019. Applications for the scholarship are being accepted here: http://recipe4success.org/programs/hope-farms.html through December 31, 2016.

Houston is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the country, and the Hope Farmer Training Program is a unique tool for empowerment and change. Research shows that Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress respond well to working in agriculture. Recipe for Success Foundation has built a coalition of support for the program with the Mission Continues, the Lone Star Veterans Association, Mental Health America - Veteran Outreach, Houston's Department of Veteran Affairs and Goodwill Veteran Employment Services among others. By transforming retired warriors into a battalion of new urban agripreneurs, the Foundation seeks to help solve the problem of equitable access to affordable, fresh produce in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

"We are particularly excited to provide the space for Vets to continue to serve their community in an environment that is conducive to their recovery from post-war stress," says Gracie Cavnar-founder of Recipe for Success Foundation, which developed and operates Hope Farms.

Introducing Amy Scott

Recipe for Success
Vote 0 Votes

Amy Scott.jpgOur new Hope Farm Manager, Amy Scott started volunteering at the food pantry in Pasadena, California, right out of college.  Because she thought the pantry should offer healthier choices, Amy decided she needed to learn how to grow fresh produce and improve their offerings. Little did she know, that her deep concern about food security issues would propel her to seek greener fields and better produce--first in northern California, then east in New York and New Jersey where she discovered the secret to coaxing maximum productivity from small scale farms using organic methods, as well as a new beau who was a Princeton lad. When that Texas boy  managed to lure her to the Third Coast to try her hand in our East Texas gumbo, she tripped across Recipe for Success Foundation's new Hope Farms project as if it was her predetermined fate. Highly committed and driven by the pursuit of perfection, Amy has learned in dealing with Mother Nature's whims that having a well-developed sense of humor is very important.  She is most excited about this new challenge of building a farm from the ground up and empowering the surrounding community with fresh food.  "I've come full circle from the Food Pantry," she muses.  Welcome Amy!

Happy Mother's Day from Hope Farms

jdavid
Vote 0 Votes

We hit the farm this beautiful Mother's Day weekend because we were inspired. Mothers nurture us, help us grow and feed our bodies and souls till we're old enough to care for ourselves. That is our dream for Hope Farms- to help nurture Houston, help us grow nutritious and healthy and give us a space to help us reconnect with Mother Nature herself. Today, as we til the earth and prepare the get ground ready for life, we salute all mothers out there and the one mother that cares for us all- Mother Nature! Happy Mother's Day from all of us at Recipe for Success! 

Hope Farms Sunrise

If you have a group or team looking for volunteer opporutnities, we have you covered! Join us at Hope Farms- it takes us all to build a farm big enough for Houston! Email volunteer@recipe4success.org or give us a call at 713.520.0443. 

Celebrate Earth Day at Hope Farms Groundbreaking!

Gracie Cavnar
Vote 0 Votes

Join us on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2016, to learn about Hope Farms and impact it will have on the Houston community. Don't forget, you can still be a PART OF HOPE FARMS by visiting our Crowdrise page!  

Hope Farms Ribbon Cutting Event Invitation 4_21 .jpg

VIP Sneak Peak and Fundraising Video!

jdavid
Vote 0 Votes

We are on step closer to Recipe for Success's vision of a physical touch point with out food- Hope Farms! After securing the location in heart of Houston's Sunnyside community, we celebrating with a few of our closest friends.

Hope Farms

On guided tours with CEO and Founder, GracieCavnar, and Recipe for Success Agriculture Manager, Justin Myers, Grassroots Supporters heard and saw the vision for Hope Farms to be a gathering point for all of Houston to learn about and eat healthy, nutritious and local foods. Our guests were also o treated to a special healthy, cooking demo from Recipe for Success's Chef Justin Kouri. HopeFarmsWe also finished shooting a fun, little video that will give you a better idea of Hope Farms and let you know how YOU can become a Grassroots Investor! Read more here, watch the video and stay tuned for updates on the Hope Farms Groundbreaking!

Hope Farms YouTube Link

And SAVE THE DATE! On Earth Day 2016, April 22nd, we will break ground on Houston's new urban farm, Hope Farms!

  

Reap, Sow, Grow: Hope Farms Update

Shannon Smith
Vote 0 Votes

Alejandra Cervantes

The vision for Hope Farms, our urban agricultural project, came into sharper focus during December 2015 as Professor Susan Rogers' students at The University of Houston Gerald Hines College of Architecture unveiled their cutting-edge designs for a space that would empower a community and bring generations together. 

Multi-use spaces, placement of entries, presentation to the street and neighbors, thoughtful resource use and building materials, solar panels and water capture, interesting people and project flow and integration of agriculture and community areas were all on display in beautifully handcrafted models showing the full potential of the farm woven into the fabric of its surrounding community. Students presented their ideas, models and reasoning to Recipe for Success Founder & CEO, Gracie Cavnar and Professors Danny Samuels and Nonya Grenader, project advisors from Rice University whose Design Build Lab students hope to construct the final project. 
 
The architecture designs all highlighted a great sense of community, ranging from welcoming signs and scenic rows or crops to retention ponds that double as soccer fields and pavilions that can be used for gatherings for the whole community. Bringing people together is a key theme for Hope Farms, which seeks to unite the community, veterans, families and farmers as it produces affordable produce for neighbors marooned in one of Houston's largest food deserts.
UH Hope Farms Design

One University of Houston Architecture Student, Alejandra Cervantes, joined Gracie on air on Sunday, December 13 on KTRK's Viva Houston to discuss the developments and the issue of food deserts and how Hope Farms aims to address that critical issue and more in the Sunnyside community of Houston.

Hope Farms and its Rolling Green Market received more good news recently from the USDA! Recipe for Success is thrilled to announce a $100,000 grant from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations. Hope Farms and the Rolling Green Market will be doing just that by bring fresh produce straight from the farm to the underserved community and training and educating the community about farming and agriculture.

UH Architects design urban farm proposed for Sunnyside

jdavid
Vote 0 Votes

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 4.44.23 PM.pngThere are few places residents to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in of Sunnyside, a part of Houston considered to be a food desert. But a nonprofit group's proposal to develop an urban farm in the neighborhood aims to change that.

Read the rest of the article and see pictures from the presentations HERE

Urban Ag is BOOMING & Hope Farms Is On Board!

Emily Paul
Vote 0 Votes

Farmers markets are booming with numbers increasing to more than 8,500 from up from the 5,274 in 2009! Recipe for Success and Hope Farms are right on track with that growth and the USDA knows it! We are delighted to be the recipient of one of their awards that will increase access to local foods announced this week amounting to nearly $35 million allocated to communities. In honor of this award, we thought we'd educate you a little more about urban farming and why it is so important.

First off, what exactly is Urban Agriculture? Urban agriculture is the practice of growing food in an urban environment and that is what we will be doing at Hope Farms. Through urban agriculture, people are brought closer to the source of food production. This in turn could potentially lead to decreased food insecurity.

What exactly is food security? The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food security as "...access by all people at all times to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life."1 Food insecurity refers to a diet of reduced quality, variety, and desirability for some populations. To achieve food security, food must be readily available at all times to all people, and be of sufficient quality and nutritional value to sustain a healthy and active life. Security depends on diversified food systems of food preparation, production and distribution.  

In America, More than 23 million people in live in food deserts and this lack of access contributes to a poor diet and can lead to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related illness, such as diabetes and heart disease.

With Hope Farms, we will try to bridge the gap found in Houston's food deserts and create security with our Rolling Green Market, which will deliver significantly reduced-priced, fresh fruits and vegetables and The Hope Farms Co-Op, which will distribution of products to premium and wholesale buyers, CSA members, farm-to-school programs and farmers markets to support the new urban agribusinesses. Find more about what Hope Farms is doing here

Lance Gilliam: Champion of Food Justice

Sandra Cook
Vote 0 Votes

Three cheers for Lance Gilliam --  winner of the 2015 Mayor's Award: Champion of Food Justice. In the business world, Lance Gilliam has more than 35 years of experience representing retailers, restaurateurs and financial institutions with market analysis, site selection and transaction negotiation. He currently serves as a Partner for Waterman Steele Real Estate Advisors specializing in building and managing face-to-face outreach operations to build support for products, causes, issues and real estate market strategies to achieve tangible outcomes for clients.

 LanceGilliam_WatermanSteele.jpg

With his background as the co-owner of the Cooking School of Aspen with his wife Jennifer, and his passion for philanthropy, Lance has been a longtime Recipe for Success Foundation cheerleader and is planning to donate the land for our Hope Farms urban agricultural project in the Sunnyside area of Houston. 

"I learned about Hope Farms in 2014, and although our proposed development in Sunnyside remains complicated and a work in progress, the commitment to include Hope Farms is an important one," says Lance Gilliam. "Hope Farms is an initiative that will bind a community with a place," he says. "It will connect people with land. Not only will it create jobs by training new farmers, it will offer a community the opportunity to experience urban farming at a scale well beyond what they have experienced before."

"Solving food access issues in our food deserts is so important on so many different levels, and it's really just the right thing to do," Lance says. "The only conversation to be had is how do you do it? Recipe for Success really teaches people how to access the food in a garden and how to use that food, how to do good things with it -- and make it taste good."

 HopeFarms_GlenB & Lance G_FOR BLOG.jpegGlenn Boudreaux and Lance Gilliam at Hope Farms site

He believes connecting people to the land is essential, "not only for the health of our families and children, but it's also healthy for business," he says. "Especially for communities that are lower income, solving food access issues is important for revitalizing those communities, not only on a family and individual level, but also in terms of the entire community."

Lance is a firm believer in the Hope Farms vision. "My hope is that Hope Farms will take food justice to the next level not only by providing a physical place for families to gather and get food from the garden together, but in terms of job training and creating jobs, it's literally like giving someone a fishing pole teach them how to fish, instead of just giving them a fish," says Lance. "Hope Farms will bring opportunities to teach folks how to farm and create an income and hopefully get them out of tough places, giving them new job skills, which is wonderful."

Lance champions for Hope Farms for the capacity it has to transform and revitalize the Sunnyside community. "This great community has an incredible history," says Lance. "It is currently home to about 70,000 people, most of them are African-American, many of them lower-income families. It's an area where there hasn't been a new grocery store built since the early 1970s. Although there's number of community gardens, that are important, but nothing on the scale of Hope Farms."

"My hope for Hope Farms is that it makes an impact that goes well beyond the property itself," says Lance. "And that it brings a brightness to the men and women that work there, as well as to the families around the Hope Farms site and really carries through their daily lives." 

UH & Rice partner on design plan

Sandra Cook
Vote 0 Votes

Students, professors, architects and sponsors gathered in Rice University's Anderson Hall on September 17 to peruse designs by twenty University of Houston and Rice architecture students who created site plan ideas for Hope Farms, a new urban agriculture project by Recipe for Success Foundation. 

Charette_NGrenader_SRogers_DSamuels_Gracie_ForBlog.jpeg

Hope Farms is the beneficiary of the first-ever joint effort to involve both nationally renowned architectural programs in Houston. Architecture students in Susan Rogers' Community Design Resource Center at the University of Houston's Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, joined with Rice School of Architecture's Rice Building Workshop students led by Danny Samuels and Nonya Grenader all participated in the charette, which is an intense collaborative session to draft solutions to a design problem.

Hope Farms will be located on 2.5 acres in Houston's historic Sunnyside community, in the midst of one of the area's recognized food deserts, where the Foundation will grow and distribute affordable fresh produce to the neighborhood, train displaced U.S. Veterans as new urban farmers and provide jobs for area youth. The farm will include a market stand for the neighborhood, a community space for events and gatherings, raised beds for educational projects, a teaching and culinary demonstration space, orchard and much more.

Charged with integrating building and agricultural layouts to minimize energy use, maximize produce production and to engage the neighborhood, the students had to first consider the land and determine ways to draw in the surrounding community. A spectrum of creative ideas were presented, including aligning rows of crops to serve as a living, nurturing billboard for passing auto and pedestrian traffic and creating structures or pathways to visually connect two nearby schools to the Hope Farms site.

A host of fans for the Hope Farms project turned out for the student presentation including Recipe for Success Foundation Founder & CEO Gracie Cavnar and Agriculture & Garden Director, Justin Myers; Helen Bow, Assistant Vice President, Communications, Wells Fargo, which provided a sizable Neighborhood Lift grant to get the project started; Rudy Garcia, Texas Health Plan Executive Director for United Healthcare; Kelli King Jackson, Program Officer, Simmons Foundation; Nancy Bailey, Public Affairs and Communications Manager-Houston, Coca-Cola; and Dayni Alba, Corporate Social Responsibility/ Community & Education Investor, Boeing.

CharetteStudents-HopeFarms_9.17.15ForBLOG.jpeg

Professor Rogers and her students are excited to take the best solutions from the charette to develop the final site and building designs and during the fall semester will complete full architectural drawings for the project. "It will be a remarkable holiday gift for our Hope Farms  come December," said Cavnar. The historic collaboration between the two schools will continue as Rice Professors Samuels and Grenader and their students utilize the UH plans to begin the onsite build out next year. Professor Rogers is committed to building community infrastructure to support and promote healthier lifestyles. In 2013, her Community Design Resource Center collaborated with key stakeholders to create an idea book for Sunnyside that suggested urban farming as a critical component.  

Recipe for Success Foundation has inspired a broad coalition--two architecture schools, numerous corporate, foundation and private funders, veterans groups and community volunteers--collaborating to build a healthy future for Houston's Sunnyside community. For more information see our Hope Farms page

A Decade in the Making

Recipe for Success
Vote 0 Votes

Glen-&-Honi-Bourdeaux-optimized.jpgThe first time Gracie met Glen Boudreaux, he approached her after a presentation about her vision for a new organization called Recipe for Success, which included the idea of Hope Farms to bring fresh produce into underserved Houston neighborhoods.  At the time, the term food desert had yet to appear in the national conversation.  He said, "Gracie, I know all about non-profit farming; what can I do to help?" A new partnership was born on the spot!  Since that day, Honi & Glen Boudreaux have worked with Gracie to bring the vision of Hope Farms to reality. Now thanks to a substantial grant from Wells Fargo Foundation, a sizeable gift of land in Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood plus initial capital and operating gifts from the Simmons and Brown Foundations, Hope Farms is about to sprout as a showcase urban farm where we will train displaced veterans to become urban agri-entrepreneurs, while we grow and distribute affordable fresh produce for our neighbors and friends.
 
Glen and Honi are committed to expanding the farm belt around Houston and to building a sustainable urban farm system inside the city to help alleviate access issues in our city's poorest neighborhoods. We can't even add up the hours that they have spent over years with Gracie in meetings to plan, layout and negotiate a site for Hope Farms, which has suffered fits and starts through the years as one real estate deal after another fell through. No one gave up. In the meantime, these founding members of the Recipe for Success Board of Directors have contributed endless energy and re¬sources to encourage healthier diets among Houstonians and created a model of ag¬ricultural best practices at their Jolie Vue Farms near Brenham. They co-founded the Rice University Farmers Market and launched the first home delivery of farm-raised products in Houston.

The Boudreauxs were our Champions of Food Justice in 2013 and will are excited to honor them again this year as founding board members at the Blue Plate Special Lunch on November 18.  But the best day of the year will be when Honi and Glen can wander out into the fields of Hope Farms, pick a piece of fruit right off the vine and hand it to someone for their dinner!

Let us know if you want to help us build the barn, train the farmers and plant the fields at Hope Farms with either time or treasure.