Citybook Highlights Hope Farms

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Note from Citybook's Editors: "We first wrote about Hope Farms extensively in this beautiful photo essay and article in our September 2017 issue, just before Hurricane Harvey laid the then brand-new nonprofit agricultural project low. The farm, an initiative of philanthropist Gracie Cavnar's Recipe for Success, bounced right back, though, and CityBook went on to proudly sponsor several of the nonprofit's marketing endeavors -- and even, in January 2019, made a coverboy out of one of the organization's (hunky) former-military farmhands. We're not surprised at all to learn that, even through the current crisis, Hope Farms continues growing its organic fair, delivering food shares. The weekly package -- containing about a dozen varieties of veggies, fruits and herbs -- is delivered to customers on Tuesdays. "With this small gesture, we continue to celebrate the power of a shared meal to build memories," says Cavnar, "and empower parents to feed our children healthy food." Read Article Here

CW39's Maggie Flecknoe is Ready to VegOut!

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The CW39's Maggie Flecknoe visited RecipeHouse to get Houston ready to VegOut! on March 1st! We have some of our favorite VegOut supports join us, Erin O' Leary Stewart, Chef Antoine Ware and Chef Greg Martin. Check out the interviews below! #VegOut2020

IMG_4339.JPGErin O'Leary Stewart, Director of DEFINE foods shares a healthy recipe and ways to get your kids to eat their veggies...HERE


Chef Antoine Ware is putting an emphasis on quality Texas and Houston-produced ingredients and products at Luby's. Starting with some new vegetable dishes starting on March 1st....HERE


Greg Martin, Chef & Proprietor of Bistro Menil, shares a dish that incorporates multiple vegetables for the challenge....HERE


Tasty Thymes Were Had at the December Family Cooking Class

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This December we welcomed Chef Kevin Naderi of Roost for a hands-on family cooking class to explore holiday favorites with a healthy twist. After taking our food adventurer oath, the class perfected their knife skills with a Fall Harvest Salad, spotlighting our Hope Farms winter harvest of kale, arugula, green onions, and radishes. A tofu green goddess dressing that would turn any ranch lover was a hit with the kiddos, not only for a new and exciting flavor profile, but also the bonus of using the immersion blender!

As an accompaniment to the salad, students whipped up a warmed cranberry and goat cheese spread to top a toasted artisanal sourdough loaf, courtesy of The Breadman Baking Company, that demonstrated proper zesting, peeling and folding techniques. One would have thought that our young chefs were participating in a holiday cookie-decorating contest with the prescion used in crafting the beautiful crostinis!

Moving into the second course, a Butternut Squash Bisque, Chef Kevin emphasized the importance of knowing how to measure ingredients properly. A little nutmeg can go a long way! Chef Kevin also expanded on how substitutions can be made to recipes to create a healthy alternative, in this case by swapping the dairy out for coconut crème and offering an optional sautéed apple and turkey bacon relish as garnish for a flavor explosion! Our mission of combatting the devastating impact of #childhood obesity paired with #growinghealthykids by empowering the next generation of food consumers to make mindful eating decisions is the reason we are so focused on creating these opportunities for learning the culinary skills to live healthier lives.

The class rounded out with Dutch Oatmeal Stuffed Apples roasted in cast iron skillets over an open flame. The kids were fascinated with Chef Kevin's lesson on grill safety! After a quick farm tour, stopping off for eggs at the chicken coop, the apples were ready to come off the fire and were served with Chef Kevin's own Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream from his Houston Heights Sweet Bribery on 19th street (He just HAD to bring the goods!!). As the parents and children sat down together to share a meal and talk about their favorite moments from the class, the smiles were plentiful and talk of how the day's recipes were to be incorporated into this year's holiday tables was in the air! We are extremely grateful for Chef Kevin Naderi who continues to teach, empower and inspire healthy eating in our community! We are tremendously appreciative of his support to fuel our award-winning work in Houston and across the country.

If you or someone you know is interested in our interactive cooking classes for adults and families, check out the upcoming class schedule here or register for our January 4th Adult Cooking Class here!



KPRC 2 Commends Warriors to Farmers Training Program

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KPRC 2 Houston Life visited Hope Farms on Veteran's Day to celebrate the Warriors to Farmers Training Program and our cohort! Check out the interview here.

Houstonia Captivated by Fashion in the Fields

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Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Lyndsey Zorich, Elizabeth Dwyer, Amanda Boffone, Gracie Cavnar, Mary Patton, Semmes Burns, Melissa Juneau, Kristin Falgout-Gutknecht_0524_RFSFashionInTheField_111019_MCW.jpg

"Last Sunday, Recipe for Success Foundation held its second-annual sold-out event, Fashion in the Fields, presented by Neiman Marcus. The UnitedHealthcare Foundation Gathering Barn at Hope Farms played host for the swank crowd that included families, socialites, media stars, and devoted philanthropists alike. Event Chairs Amanda Boffone and Elizabeth Dwyer set a mod, glamorous tone for the event, which was a multifaceted affair and featured a cocktail social hour, fashion show, and delectable brunch by Snooze Eatery, La Table, Common Bond, Hilton Americas, and Pat Greer's Kitchen.

The weather could not have been more perfect; wide-brim hats and breezy fall neutrals ruled the day as the perfect match for the sunny, crisp fall afternoon..." Read More

Tell Us A Story About a Meal

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Thumbnail image for 0109_RFSFashionInTheFields_111118_MCW.jpgFor the 14th year, we are encouraging fourth graders throughout Houston to put pen to paper for our story writing contest around favorite holiday foods. This annual contest encourages students to write thoughtfully and descriptively about their favorite holiday foods and traditions. It also focuses students on the importance of family meals while providing teachers with a powerful tool to support their core objectives in language arts. Additionally, it helps students explore the many facets of food and recipes, including step-by-step procedures and measurements, as well as their diverse cultural histories and family traditions.

Submissions are due by October 25, 2019. Teachers at participating schools will select one winning essay from their student submissions for entry in the citywide contest. One essay per school will be accepted by the Foundation. Advance registration is required through Jennifer Fridley at, and the contest is open to all Houston elementary schools. Schools implementing the Foundation's Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ are already pre-registered for the contest.

"Recipe for Success created our annual writing contest to encourage students to focus on the importance of building family food traditions and offering a fun, festive opportunity to practice writing skills that support state test standards," said Gracie Cavnar, founder and CEO of Recipe for Success Foundation Founder. "This is one of the cornerstone tools Recipe for Success uses to weave our healthy food messaging into the curriculum of our participating Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education schools."

The grand-prize winner will be recognized during Recipe for Success Foundation's Fashion in the Fields at Hope Farms on Sunday, November 10 and roll up their sleeves in January 2020 as Chef for a Day to prepare a celebratory meal at Bistro Menil, alongside Greg Martin one of Houston's celebrity chefs. The student chef and celebrity chef then share that meal with the student's family, friends and school representatives. The winning essay will be showcased online at

The 2018 winner was Nadia Rosado (pictured above) from MacGregor Elementary School in HISD, who wrote a beautiful story about her abuelita's (grandmother) "famous" empanadas. Excerpts from Rosado's contest entry explained how "Empanada's are one of the few foods that unites all of Latin American. I bet that my Abuelita's empanadas are some of the best in the world. They are simply delish!" For the winning story, Nadia got to spend a day being a chef alongside Greg Martin, chef/proprietor of Bistro Menil. The two spent the day in the kitchen, prepping a meal for the Rosado family.

PBS Features Seed-to-Plate

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Ernie in our classroom.pngCheck out this wonderful for PBS story by reporter Ernie Manouse when he visted our classrooms at MacGregor Elementary School.

Transforming Warriors to Farmers

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2019 Cohort cropped.jpegOur 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 are honored to provide a unique career opportunity to these four outstanding veterans as they embark on their life's next chapter.

Today we announced the members of the second class of our Warriors to Farmers Training Program at Hope Farms. Four outstanding military veterans have been selected for this unique program which will prepare them to successfully operate their own urban farm and help us solve widespread food inequity issues in Houston and beyond. The 2019 cohort includes (pictured above with me at Tyler Froberg) Oriana Franklin, Samuel MacCammon, Stephan "Miles" Cook and Linda Stafford.

Our Hope Farms farmer training program is meant to expand the urban farming footprint in Houston and other cities and by doing so, make healthy, affordable food more accessible to all citizens. During their 2,000 hours of training at Hope Farms, veterans will learn how to utilize small-scale, intensive organic growing methods to maximize and optimize the production of fruits and vegetables and earn a good living to support their families on a micro urban farm. Houston's year-round growing season affords the veteran trainees with unique opportunities to understand and experience a robust four-season diversified fruit and vegetable farm, including planting and cultivation, pest, disease and weed management, irrigation, compost systems, harvest and post-harvest handling, quality control, poultry and egg production, beehives management and honey production. Veteran participants will also learn operational aspects of product sales and distribution including running an on-site farm stand, CSA programs, restaurant sales, and farmers market sales. Thanks to a grant from the USDA, veterans selected for the program are given the year-long, 2,000 hours of training free of charge, awarded a monthly living stipend and may earn bonuses through the year for exceeding expectations.

Upon completion, trained veterans qualify to join our Hope Farms Co-op, which will market and distribute their crops and they may also benefit from our Business Incubator Program, which will provides land acquisition support, access to equipment and two years of operational advice. This support is designed to ensure their fledgling farm businesses thrive.

The 2019 cohort reflects a cross section of military service and deployment. Each member has had life-changing experiences while serving our country. All of them expressed a common, overarching reason for seeking the Warriors to Farmers grant award: to help bring healthy food to others as they reacclimatize to civilian life while overcoming their war-time traumas. Studies by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs have shown that programs such as the Farmers Veteran Training Program at Recipe for Success have led to improvement and positively impacted physical and mental health of veterans, who have reported a reduction in anxiety, depression and pain.

The 2019 Warriors to Farmers Cohort

Stephan "Miles" Cook served in the United States Army for 11.5 years after graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in human resources development. Cook became interested in becoming an urban food grower after spending time on an urban farm. Up for the challenge, his goal is to become a diversified herb producer.

Oriana Franklin served five years in the United States Army after graduating from San Jacinto College with an associate's degree in applied science. Franklin has installed many green spaces around the country while working with Mission Continues and has a deep understanding of non-profit operations. She was present at the 2016 groundbreaking of Hope Farms and is looking forward to gaining a greater understanding of day-to-day farm operations.

Samuel MacCammon graduated from The United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science in international law with a concentration in environmental engineering. He served for six years in the United States Army and has worked in supply management for the past three years. A career change to urban agriculture is aligned with MacCammon's interest in sustainable food production and feeding local communities.

Linda Stafford graduated from American InterContinental University with an associate degree in business administration and served for 14 years in the United States Army. Stafford has always felt at peace in the outdoors, with many of her fondest childhood memories tied to working in her mother's garden, which led her to pursue this unique career opportunity in urban farming.

Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Hope Farms Warriors to Farmers program is available exclusively to veterans and rooted in a hands-on curriculum comprised of horticulture, crop planning, enterprise and supply chain management, farm accounting and marketing and business planning to introduce urban farming and profitable business operations.

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

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

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