Wells Fargo Does It Again!

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Our friends at the Wells Fargo Foundation are continuing their support by contributing to our Hope Farms Veteran Program workforce development! Wells Fargo has been a long-standing partner of Recipe for Success Foundation and we value their partnership as we work together to build stronger communities. Our nation has a long history of welcoming our troops home and bringing them back into a life where they can work and study out of harm's way. We have created a unique 2,000-hour training program designed and offered only to military Veterans. With funding from Wells Fargo, we will be able to further empower our new Veteran Farmer Training Program Manager, Tyler, in his effort to transform our veteran trainees from warriors to farmers. We are deeply grateful for lasting relationships with companies like Wells Fargo, who support our mission throughout all of our programs as we teach, empower and inspire healthy eating.

If you or a veteran your know are ready for the challenge and satisfaction of growing and providing nutritious food to our community, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship. The application deadline for 2019 is September 8, 2019 at midnight central standard time. See the application here!

New School Year with Nutritious & Delicious Fun!

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As we approach the 2019-2020 school year, we are pleased to announce ten new Recipe for Success Affiliate Partner Schools in Houston! Thanks to H.E.B and United Healthcare Foundation, thousands more children will learn healthy eating skills with our Seed to Plate Nutrition Education™.

A huge welcome to Alcott, Bastian, Codwell, Condit, Grissom, Mading, Mitchell, and Shadydale Elementary Schools along with KIPP Dream and Pershing Middle Schools -- our newest Affiliate Partners. Teachers at all the schools have been going through our S2P Instructor Training this summer as they prepare to launch their programs on their home campuses. We are thrilled to be working with these fantastic schools, their faculties, parents and especially the students! There is always room for more, so please reach out if you are interested in bringing our Seed to Plate Nutrition Education™ to your child's school.

Our two Showcase Schools are are planning enhanced programming this year to help us test out new concepts and content. Rodriguez Elementary is extending our Seed to Plate Nutrition Education™ program to all students from kindergarten through fifth grade. MacGregor Elementary will have both second and fourth graders learning about healthy eating hands-on. Paris, our Culinary Director, and Amanda, our Garden Educator have curated an updated Farmers MarKIDS curriculum for this year to test in our Showcase Schools and we cannot wait to see all the delicious fun.

Thanks to Cigna, dozens of Title One school classes will visit Hope Farms this fall where they will get hands on in the fields and then prepare a healthy salad. Any school or group can make a reservation for a Hope Farms Field trip and a healthy hands-on taste of our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ delivered by our educational team. You can request field trips at hopefarmshtx.org

Be sure to follow us on social media to stay informed of "all things EDUCATIONAL" at Recipe for Success.

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Love, Tito's Community Garden

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Partnerships play a huge role in our ability to provide our programming, both in schools and on the farm. We had an amazing work day to close out May with Tito's Handmade Vodka on the farm during their Love, Tito's event. Just like RFS, Tito's Vodka believes in the power of people coming together to accomplish big things! Love, Tito's is a social experiment to reconnect communities, one block at a time. The Tito's Vodka family worked alongside local nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles, Miami, and Houston to help support urban farms to make fresh, healthy food more accessible to the local community. Together we built 21 raised beds for our new Hope Farms community garden, as well as expand the pollinator garden in front of the farm. The hard work, dedication, and initiative of all those who helped is so greatly appreciated! We love building lasting relationships with companies like Tito's Handmade Vodka, who support our mission as we teach, empower and inspire healthy eating. A HUGE thank you to everyone who came, and the Tito's Vodka family for helping us make this a reality!!

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Welcome Farmer Nick!

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Nick 3.jpegWhile we say goodbye to some, we welcome others to the team! You may have seen him around Hope Farms for the last month, learning about the property and new climate, but now it's time for an introduction. Nick DeBrock, recently moved from Connecticut where he ran vegetable production for The Hickories, is our new Hope Farms Manager. He is your go to for farm shares, restaurant sales, day-to-day production and our weekly farm stand! We're excited to start this new chapter, and extend a big Texas welcome to this new personality! We asked Nick a few questions to dig a little deeper, see the Q&A below.

What is the biggest difference in farming in Southeast Texas versus Connecticut?
The biggest change is just how drastic the timing is on fruits and vegetables. It is July and tomato season is over, whereas in Connecticut we are lucky to get a tomato before July 4th. Another obvious difference is the lack of winter here meaning an opportunity to grow year round.
What is the next step for Hope Farms?
Hope Farms is in a big transition point at the moment and the answer to this can be quite vast! We are going to continue to add more acreage into production slowly and sustainably, allowing for a steady increase in produce production. This naturally leads us to expanding our markets and popping the Rolling Green Market up at more locations. My goal this next year is centered around getting repeatable systems down for a more economical and sustainable farm.
We know you love veggies! What is your favorite vegetable to grow?
My favorite vegetable to grow has to be a pepper. A pepper in my opinion can offer such a variety of flavors that are so unique. They can range from sweet as an apple to too hot to even touch and if you dry them out they take on a whole other range of flavors. Peppers simply are the most rewarding vegetable to grow.
What is your favorite thing you have done in Houston so far?
I feel like I am so wiped from the sun that I barely do anything. Just yesterday I was driving home from Wabash feed store with Alex (my partner). Traffic looked awful on 610 so we decided to turn down a random road where we drove by El Bolillo Bakery. We immediately u-turned and found ourself walking into pasty heaven. We must have bought a dozen pastries, all of which were amazing, for just over five dollars. Turns out the bakery seems to be a pretty big deal to certain Houstonians. What made it special was finding this gem by accident.
What drew you to RFS?
I always wanted to grow food to make a change! I found myself growing food on a family farm in Connecticut which provided experiences I would not change for anything, however I felt though that I was not doing enough. I wanted to make a difference not just for one small community, but for a whole city. Recipe for Success and Hope Farms takes this challenge head on, while also allowing for the growth of new urban agriculture in an area so desperate for farmers and their produce.

CultureMap: Tomato Tasting, Strawberry Moon & Van Gogh at Hope Farms

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8JqM4qNm.jpeg"Under a full strawberry moon (a tasty beacon, indeed), Gracie Cavnar, founder of Recipe for Success, orchestrated her popular Chefs in the Field supper. Hosted by Recipe for Success Foundation at Hope Farms, the evening brought the farm to the table, featuring fresh produce and a menu showcasing the best of the season..." Read More from Steven Devadanam at CultureMap

Field Trips to Hope Farms

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Stories From the Classroom by Paris Anton & Amanda Howard: Spring is a time of both rebirth and growth in our garden, classrooms and farm! As cool days begin to warm it's finally time for our farmers-in-training to put their hands into the soil. The end of the school year ended with a BANG for both our showcase schools with 4th grade field trips to Hope Farms! Between MacGregor Elementary's 84 students and Sylvan Rodriguez Elementary's 164 students, the farm was abuzz with more than the bees in the apiaries.

Our S2P kiddos ended a fun filled year spent in their gardens and culinary classrooms seeing the likes of a real working farm, participating in the day's harvest followed by tastings, egg collection in the chicken coop, making seed bombs in the children's garden, and a mass of apron decorating of their very own R4S aprons to take home! The students left no stone unturned in their hunt for lady bugs, rolly pollies, and butterflies too. While listening to the chatter during our harvest lunches, one could overhear our student's exclamations of joy and laughter, and see our impact in their smiles and eyes. The transcendence of joy throughout the fields truly left an impact on all of our R4S team that will last us until the next school year!

We've Had a Full Plate This Year! And More to Come!

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End of the Year Wrap Up by Jen Fridley: As we closed down the 2018-2019 school year in our Showcase Schools, we are excited to announce news that our Farmers MarKIDS Market was a huge hit at Sylvan Rodriguez Elementary School. Our students displayed the characteristics of little entrepreneurs and agri-business marketers. It was definitely a successful undertaking with the entire school community. Brothers Produce even stopped by to purchase produce from our stand. Our students experienced real life connections in the food industry from seed to plate! Combined with Art for Sale, the Urban Farm led up by Farmer Moore, produce from the garden, and jarred goods from the Culinary Classroom, our students are able to purchase a birdbath for the garden for the enjoyment of everyone with the funds from their market!

On the horizon for the 2019-2020 school year we are thrilled to report that our Affiliate Partnership Expansion initiative with funding from United Healthcare has rapidly grown throughout the Sunnyside Community Schools with close proximity to Hope Farms. Ten new schools that we have partnered with for next school year are as follows: Bastian Elementary, Mitchell Elementary, Codwell Elementary, Mading Elementary, Alcott Elementary, Condit Elementary, Pershing Middle, Green Villas Elementary, Young Elementary, and Shadydale Elementary Schools. These schools are joining us in the effort to teach, empower and inspire our children about food choices and opportunities with our award-winning Seed to Plate Nutrition Education Program. Their school leaders are just as ecstatic as we are to get their students out to visit Hope Farms in the fall!

And lastly, our work does not slow down because it is summer. We are already busy at the farm with our newest Urban Farmers Camp and after that our Girl Scout Sow What Journey, along with several other camps occurring at the Recipe House later this summer. Stay tuned for more exciting news as the summer progresses!
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Houston Chronicle Dazzled by Delicious Alchemy

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"If it ain't broke, don't fix it - improve upon it. That's the approach Recipe for Success' annual Delicious Alchemy dinner seems to take, anyway. Gracie Cavnar, the organization's founder, board chairman and CEO, tackles a unique challenge each year. Finding a host couple both willing and able to accommodate several dozen gastronomes into their home for a 10-course feast is no easy feat. And then there's the coordination of all that food. Wrangling 10 acclaimed chefs to produce a cohesive yet distinctive menu is quite an undertaking. But when all those moving parts click into place, c'est ce bon..." Read more by Houston Chronicle's Amber Elliott

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CityBook Naturally Loves Earth Day Festivities

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We kicked off April with a busy weekend full of Earth Day festivities! The weekend started with our Earth Day Festival on April 6 in which we had several vendors and activities for the community to engage in. Snooze hosted a pancake breakfast which benefitted our S.P.I.C.E. Guild, DEFINE utilized our movement lawn for a beat class, and RFS Board Members taught cooking classes to a wide ranging audience. All resulting in community attendance being higher than 2018! The weekend continued with our Chefs in the Field Earth Day Supper on April 7. We greatly appreciated the contributions of our sponsors Treaty Oak, St. Arnold's Brewing, Dairy Maids, and 1836 Olive Oil. Your Butler's Pantry set the scene during the intimate dinner portion of the event, with our long, rustic table down the middle of the Gathering Barn and set with woven placemats, hand blown glasses and textural elements in greens and blues. One final THANK YOU to our Chefs Jeff Auld, Kevin Naderi, and Rakesh Nayak. Click here to read CityBook's Review

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CultureMap: Earth Day Supper Success

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"In spite of the weather, beloved Recipe for Success founder Gracie Cavnar pulled off yet another Chefs in the Field alfresco supper, this time to celebrate Mother Earth. Hosted by Recipe for Success Foundation at Hope Farms, the evening featured farm-fresh produce and a menu showcasing the best of locally sourced food and star chefs..." Read More

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