Lele Sadoughi Is Coming!

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IMG_0943.jpegTexas-born designer, Lele Sadoughi has become a cult favorite of the Mommy & Me set with her signature headbands and handbags. Now expanding into clothing and teaming up with iconic brands like Lily Pulitzer and Barbie, Lele and her daughter will make a personal appearance on November 7 at Fashion in the Fields presented by Neiman Marcus at Hope Farms.

The annual fundraiser, chaired by Sippi & Ajay Khurana, emerging after several COVID delays, will begin with donor's children featured on the catwalk alongside the Neiman's pro manequins sporting the latest fashions, followed by brunch prepared by an impressive collection of Houston chefs. The laid back, yet supremely staylish Sunday afternoon event has become a family favorite through the years, and we are delighted to see its return. 2021 event proceeds will go toward distributing healthy Hope Farms produce to area families in need. "Covid 19 has shone an even brighter light on the food access inequities in our commuity," says Founder & CEO, Gracie Cavnar. "It fills our hearts to be able to put healthy food on the tables of families in need."

For more information and tickets: CLICK HERE

Flower Child Blooms at Hope Farms

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bluedress-87.jpgIf you have visited Hope Farms lately, you may have seen a sweet little white studio rising in the midst of a field of flowers. Say hello to Flower Child Urban Flower Farm & Studio, our first Hope Farms agricultural tennant. This is what I did on my "COVID vacation"--start a flower farm. My goal is to provide a eco-friendly flower source for Houstonians that will have a positive carbon footprint and complement our work at Hope Farms.

While not officially a program of Recipe for Success, everything about Flower Child benefits the Foundation. In direct ways, like paying rent and commisions and contributing inkind products for Foundation use, to indirect ways like creating an ocean of pollinator-favorite flowers in the midst of our veggie growing fields to support the bees and butterflies so critical to our horticultural operation.

Every sale also benefits the Foundation and there are several ways you can take advantage of this new opportunity to support our work. Flower Child Field Bouquets are available at the weekly Hope Farms markets on Saturdays and Wednesdays; via the Hope Farm Virtual Farm Store, you can subscribe to regular deliveries of flowers each week, month or season; and you will see our Flower Child creations at all of Hope Farms events. While not a traditional flower shop where one can order flowers on a whim, Flower Child will offer special arrangements for advance orders on special holidays like Valentines and Mothers Day.

And keep an eye our for Bubbles and Blooms, occasional flower arranging classes--the first coming up in October. For more information see flowerchild.love

Cook the Harvest Classes

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IMG_0940_Facetune_13-09-2021-17-27-05.jpegGreat cooking is about more than recipes--it's about techniques. This fall we are offering three Cook the Harvest classes at Hope Farms to sharpen your skills. In our classes you'll work together in a fun, hands-on environment led by Chef Carlos. Classes will be held in the Gathering Barn, where it will be simple and safe to follow COVID health guidelines

Saturday, October 16: Homemade Pasta Workshop
Pasta night is always the favorite family night of the week. Learn how to up your pasta dishes with fresh pasta dough. Simple, delicious and versatile, this staple is fun to make and lets you run wild with whatever else you have in the fridge. In this class, students will learn the fundamentals to rolling fresh pasta dough along with tips for cutting and storing noodles. Next, we cover the basics to making a seasonal pesto that makes the most of whatever is growing in the garden. Last, we will tackle how to prepare ravioli that are perfect for eating right away or storing in the freezer for a quick meal anytime.

Saturday, November 13: Pastry Techniques for Entertaining
Get ready for fall entertaining with recipes that star everyones favorite- pastry! Learn the basics behind making pastry dough, rolling out an even crust and blind baking to serve up pies and quiches that will be the star of any meal. In addition, discover the pastry batter behind clafoutis, one of the easiest and most delicious ways to showcase any seasonal produce!

Saturday, December 11: Holiday Cookie Workshop
Get ready to impress and express your holiday cheer with two of everyone's seasonal favorites. Learn the basics of baking delicious sugar cookies and gingerbread men. Get all the tips you need to make a perfect classic royal icing. Develop your decorating skills by practicing the fundamentals of the flooding technique and explore how sanding sugars and more can make cookie decorating your new favorite tradition.

Snare your seat today!

Our Farmer's Four Fall To Do's

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IMG_0334 2.JPGFall is the Time for Brassicas, Peas, Citrus and Mulching

Get those Brassicas in the ground! Brassicas deliver flavor in spades--especially spicy. For fast gratification, try mustards and harvest the baby leaves when they are just 3 or 4 inches long. Collard greens and kale are more fast-growing leafy Brassicas. Or if you have some patience, go for the flowery brassicas -- cauliflower and broccoli, the buds -- cabbage and Brussels sprouts, roots -- turnips and even stems -- kohlrabi...all are considered a brassica, and absolutely love our fall and winter here on the Gulf Coast of Texas! Cool fall mornings improve the flavor of these wonderful crops. Leafy brassicas you can see directly in the garden and within a few weeks have something to munch on. For the rest, its best to buy healthy plant starts in 4' pots and plant them 12"-18" apart. You will have something to eat by New Years!IMG_1157.jpg

Sugar Snap Peas are a must in Houston's fall and winter gardens! If you have never had a just harvested sugar snap pea, you don't know what you're missing! Traditional planting day is Halloween, but as long as you get them in by Thanksgiving, you will be popping peas by Valentine's Day. Not only are they delicious, they are beautiful with delicate flowers that appear before the seed pods. These exuberant climbers will race up a fence, or garden support and every bit is edible from the lovely flowers and curly tendrils to the entire pod and the seeds inside. There is really no com

It's Citrus Time! You have probably seen fruit trees laden with lemons, limes and oranges all over town, because we are entering the height of citrus season on the gulf Coast. If you are lucky enough to have these proven performers in your garden, get ready to harvest. Fall and winter is when we harvest almost all varieties of citrus here on the Texas Gulf Coast, and the harvest is always bountiful! Wait until the fruits have fully colored then make sure to have your shears sharp because fruit should be cut from the tree, not pulled! After your harvest, mulch well around your tree bases and give them a rest before you feed them again. If you don't have any citrus, now is the time to plant. The most popular varieties are Meyer lemons, Mexican limes and any kind of orange, but it's just as easy to grow grapefruit, kumquats and nectarines. Get creative and try something new!

IMG_1138.jpgMulch, Mulch, Mulch. Whether you are planting seasonal crops or not, it's time to protect your perennials. Basically, leave no bare ground showing in your vegetable, herb and flower garden beds. Covering all your soil with four to six inches of organic material, like straw or chopped up leaves will protect your perennials and shrubs from frost damage and discourage weeds. You will thank yourself in the spring.

A Pollinator Paradise

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IMG_0062.JPGBecause there are few things as exciting for children in the garden than seeing it aflutter with butterflies and bees, our Seed-to-Plate Instructors encourage us to engage the kids in creating a pollinator paradise in the yard or even in pots on the porch. Here they share 5 tips for creating a pollinator paradise, because if you provide a hospitable habitat, the butterflies and bees and humingbirds will definitely come and bring their friends.
1. Choose a site that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
2. Use a diversity of plants that flower at different times of year. Select plants that have a long-lasting bloom, provide a rich nectar and pollen source and are both drought and heat tolerant. A sunny sample for Houston: 
Texas Bluebonnet, Indian Blanket, Winecup, Gayfeather, Little Bluestem, the Aster family (Zinnia, Coreopsis, Echinacea Sunflower, Rudbeckia & Yarrow), African Bluebells, Lantana, Scarlet Sage and Coralbean
3. Enhance nesting and egg laying sites by avoiding mulch, using compost and leaf litter instead and adding some rocks and other nest hideaways.
4. Avoid toxic pesticides and ground tilling.
5. Limit artificial light sources to protect the natural light/dark cycles
Have fun!

Pioneer Gets a Magical Dinner

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Erin-Stewart,Charlie-Ho,Adam-Stephens,Tommy-Lacsynski,Sasha-Grumman,Gracie-Cavnar,Martin-Stayer,Ojan-Bagher,Greg-MArtin,Felix-Florez,Barbara-McKnight-at-Delicious-Alchemy-Banquet_photo-Kirsten_Gilliam.jpgCelebratingRecipe for Success' 15 Year Mission

BY // 05.07.21

The Recipe for Success Foundation "Delicious Alchemy" dinner was glorious testament to the evolution of the seedling of an idea that was planted 15 years ago. Fifty generous patrons were seated for a 10-course dinner in the foundation's Gathering Barn, centerpiece of the seven-acre urban farm in Houston that is the pulse point of the Recipe for Success mission of battling childhood obesity.

Founders of the highly lauded program, Gracie and Bob Cavnar welcomed arrivals who passed the cocktail hour mingling amid Hope Farms' resplendent fields of vegetables and flowers. Missing from the verdant landscape were the entire crop of citrus trees and half of the fruit trees, victims of the February deep freeze. Before the night was over, the ever-creative Gracie Cavnar had announced a giving opportunity that would help replant the once-vibrant orchard. Read entire story.

RecipeHouse Goes Virtual

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img_6206 3.jpgWe have welcomed Carlos Meltzer back into our fold as our Chef Instructor extraordinaire! Besides being our star teacher in the eatitfoodadventures.org culinary videos, Carlos will be hosting Zoom Cooking Classes at RecipeHouse. Carlos was one of our original Seed-To-Plate Instructors years ago when we were building out our award-winning program. He went on to host his own cooking show, and run the Sur La Table cooking school among other delicious escapades. We are happy to have him home!

First on the list of Zoom Classes available to the public will be "Cook the Harvest, Traditional Thanksgiving Sides with a Fresh Twist", live on Friday November 20 at noon. Founder, Gracie Cavnar will be joining Carlos at the stove to share tips and tricks to up your turkey day game! The class is $25 and there will be mise en place kits with fresh ingredients available for andvance purchase in the Hope Farms HTX online farm store. Class is limited to 40 students. Book your spot today.

Growing the Farm

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120446448_814466489298430_2065338201469038867_n.jpgWe have spent the summer expanding our growing footprint at the farm, adding nine raised beds for our new blueberry orchard and a brand new hoop house where we will be growing fall tomatoes and expand our ability to grow popular crops like green peas and cucumbers for a much linger season. We played with some fun new crops like peanuts and corn and we are planning a seasonal flower maze in a large field that has not been hosibitable to food growing. We built a mobile chicken coop for our teenage chicks who have now matured and are beginning to produce eggs-- doubling our egg production. And we have added goats! Anticipating fresh goat milk in 2021!

While the farm has been closed to the public, it is one of the safest, healthiest places to be. We have welcomed everal summer interns and volunteers in limited numbers all summer and we have a gap year fellow starting this month. Also in October, we will begin to welcome volunteer groups back to the farm for controlled special projects, beginning with the executives and owners of Salata, who will be here on October 15.

Our drive through farm stand continues to be popular and we attract customers from throughout the city to buy our produce and Food from Friends, including BOH pasta and pizza, 1836 Olive Oil and Hive Been honey. As we harvest the last of our okra, peppers and eggpant, our fall crops are starting to come in, including four kinds of sweet potatoes and some beautiful pumkins and squashes. A new USDA grant will allow us to expand our polinator beds, adding beauty and function with perennial flowers. The ascetics of the farm continue to improve as we clear and clean. Our goal is to ready to host an event at any time! So why not plan a party here? We are also building routine systems and procedures in the spirit of Lean Farming techniques, which include splitting the farm into quadrants to improve streamlined maintenance, coordination of delivery driver pick up at farm to reduce transportation time of CSA, weekly routine tasks.

The Flower Child fields are an explosion of color in the midst of it all, putting a smile on our faces (behind our masks,) And we are ready to welcome you!

A Texas Two Step

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header with painting, chair and logo.jpgWe have planned what we are affectionately calling a Texas Two Step that gives our fashionable friends the chance to pay it forward. While we postponed our big fall luncheon and fashion show to November 2021, we added a reason to smile and get dressed up this fall, too with a safe, socially distanced affair for a fabulous few.

Working with our chair, Sippi Khurana, designer Lela Rose and her team as well as stylist Melissa Sugulas, and our friends at Tootsies, we have created a VIP styling experience for all our our supporters and fans who buy their 2021 tickets and tables now. So, buy early and enjoy two for one! On October 21, 2020 the insider VIP event, The World of Lela Rose, will be a hybrid virtual and in person affair featuring spring trunk shows from across Lela's collections, fabulous food from Salata, Drinks to Match your Dress from Tito's and a live styling presentation when Lela will Zoom in to visit with Joy Sewing, the Houston Chronicle Fashion Editor and Fady Armanious, Creative Director at Tootsies.

The gifts will flow for our VIP insiders, from the chance to win Lela's fashions and darling pearl mask lanyards from Pearl to fresh roses from Flower Child. Donors who commit to tables and tickets now for 2021, will be invited in October. This will allow our generous supporters to leverage two years' budget for higher profile positioning at the 2021 Fashion in the Fields. Get your tickets for Fashio inthe Fields 2021 today and snare your spot on the door list for this fabulously fashionable affair in October 2020 at Hope Farms. Tickets/Tables here.

Our COVID Pirouette

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How did we spend our summer "vacation"? Pivoting so fast we feel like whirling dervishes, or as a dear friend suggested--pirouetting! Even though they were motivated by extreme change, I am excited about the initiatives we have undertaken, the changes we've made, and the opportunities before us as we adapt our programs for the new normal in a way that will have long term positive impact and increase our mission reach.

While we all spent time supporting Hope Farms, quickly creating a safe, convenient drive-through market and online Farm Store, and fine tuning our venue rental packages--even designing Intimate Wedding Packages. The rest of our summer days, we 192_bubblesandbrideshopefarms_dortizphoto_071420.JPGfocused on planning the COVID Pivot for Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ programs, Affiliate Partners and Showcase Schools. It's clear that even schools that are back to in-person classes do not have the bandwidth to get beyond core learning. It's also clear that distance learning will not be going away anytime soon. We are taking advantage of this pause in the classroom to completely reimagine our signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ as a robust online platform designed for kids and families, which will also work as a resource for teachers and schools. You can read more about it in the Seed-to-Plate Column and even sign up for an early subscription, which we hope you will consider.

Using the latest in LMK technology, we are building out eatitfoodadventures.org -- a URL we have owned since publishing my book. It will feature an inaugural series of twenty-four, produced cooking and gardening class videos presenting our Marco Polo themed unit, which we developed and tested in the classroom in 2014-2016. The unit is rich with content and collateral materials to bring the multi-cultural exploration of foodways from around the world alive for all ages. Our new site will also feature and extensive video glossary of "How-To's" and "What's This?" explained in 30-90 second clips that are linked up to the recipes and garden activities and searchable on their own.

A Food Explorer section will be brimming with self study adventures grouped by ages. There will be sections for parents and teachers and a generous list of links to our favorite outside sources to round out the platform. We plan to take the site live in time for the holiday season with the first cooking and gardening video class and will release new classes in the series throughout the year. The safe and secure site will be available by subscription--a nominal $3 per month or $25 per year. We will launch the promotional campaign with a Buy One/Give One opportunity for new members to provide access to the children in our partner schools. Upgraded subscriptions will give access to a schedule of live Zoom Classes and Clubs held throughout the year. The landing page with sneak preview of what to expect and links to subscribe will be up in November intake for holiday gift giving season.

It fills my heart to share that several of our generous funders have stepped up with a gift to help us get this project started. Sprouts Market has earmarked this years donation for our new site and thanks to our board member Ana Llovera, Shell has also made a generous contribution. Others are planning their gifts now, because everyone recognizes the impact that eatitfoodadventures.org in Houston and well beyond its borders in helping teach, empower and inspire children to make mindful eating decisions and build lifelong healthy habits! We would welcome you to consider supporting this powerful project.

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