CityBook Naturally Loves Earth Day Festivities

Healthy Eating Ambassador
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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


earthdaycitf-20.jpgGQ2B0886.JPGHope Farms April Dinner_Full Res-5119.jpg

CultureMap: Earth Day Supper Success

Healthy Eating Ambassador
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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

Many Fun Opportunities Coming Up

Volunteer Ambassador
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Have you been looking for ways to get involved with Recipe for Success? Spring and summer offers many opportunities, whether it is helping at events, joining us for summer camp, or general office help. Our team relies on the assistance of volunteers to prepare and deliver programs that are making an impact in the community.

Here's a highlight of the opportunities for spring and summer. Our sign up process is quick and easy!

Taste of the District, Sunday, April 28, 2019
Help represent Recipe for Success at the River Oaks Taste of the District. We will need help with setup, engaging with attendees, arts and crafts with children, and tear down. Attendees will stroll the shops and vendor booths. We have two shifts available. Join us and spend a day at the River Oaks District.

Delicious Alchemy: The Banquet, Monday, May 6, 2019
Please join us for the fourth annual Banquet, to benefit Recipe for Success Foundation's programming. This exquisite seated dinner for 100 guests raises 20% of the Foundation's annual budget while celebrating the community of a shared meal. The event will take place at a private residence in River Oaks. We're recruiting now for all aspects of event logistics including pre-event setup, check in, serving, and break down. We have several shifts available to meet your schedule so sign up today!

Summer Camps, June and July
This summer, Recipe for Success will host 4 summer camps for kids ages 8-12. We will be at the farm June 3-7 and then at the office June 17-21, June 24-28, and July 8-12. We have a variety of dates and times open to volunteers. Sign up, come out and help us introduce the joys of gardening and cooking to kids.

Chefs in the Field, Monday, June 17, 2019
Our tribute to the tomato dinner on the farm will feature three Houston chefs. The dinner is outdoors in the barn and consists of three courses. Volunteers will help with set up logistics, check in, and serving. Enjoy your evening in a beautiful setting at Hope Farms. Sign up for a spot!

Office Angels, Open Dates
Assistance is ALWAYS needed at our office. Volunteers help with data input, organizing supplies, and general office duties. Check your calendars and sign up for a day at our office.

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Recipe for Success
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Worm Dance.pngReport from the classroom by Brenden Jackson. It's been a cold rainy last couple of weeks, which means our young gardeners have really been getting to know their garden worms. Together we built a large worm hotel which has grown from 1,000 wiggly friends to nearly 3,000! The Dirt Detectives have been using all of their observation skills calculate their worm size, how much they weigh and how much food they can compost into the black gold known as vermicompost.

This week we harvested our first collection of vermicompost, the nutrient dense manuer produced by the worms, weighing in at a whopping 25 pounds. With a market value of $1 a pound, this proved to be a great lesson in how much of our "trash" can actually be a valuable resource with a little bit of planning. In the coming weeks we will be applying our class harvested fertilizer to our future tomato beds, ensuring we have rich nutrient dense soil to produce luscious bountiful tomato harvests.

We've not only been learning the important role our worms play in the garden and the microcosm that is our garden soil, but also their anatomy, how they move and what they eat. Our youngest future farmers made menus for the worm hotel so we always know what feed them (veggies only!), while our oldest veggie enthusiasts have been busy studying all five of the worm's hearts and comparing the drainage difference between worm-rich soil and soil devoid of our little friends. We have even put together a Worm Dance to really get into the spirit of studying these super poopers!

Whether inside or outside the garden offers ample opportunities for hands on and experiential learning, and these kids are loving it!

Put a Badge On It!

Recipe for Success
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Thumbnail image for Girl Scouts_1.jpgThe San Jacinto Council Girl Scouts have found their Recipe for Success! They are arriving to RecipeHouse in droves to earn prized culinary and nutrition badges, including our coveted VegOut! patch.

It's no secret that Recipe for Success Foundation is the premier host to help children acquire life-long cooking skills in a healthy and fun atmosphere. The Girl Scouts were among the first to discover this a decade ago. Now about 50 Scouts a week fill RecipeHouse to learn our hallmark healthy and delicious recipes and cook their way toward GSUSA Badges. Carried home by Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors, the aromas of our healthy snacks and simple meals permeate Houston's family kitchens and dinner tables. Girl Scout troops can learn cooking skills alongside professional chefs, or design their own badge or journey workshops. We even have a special VegOut! patch. Contact us to plan a class for your troop or meeting, or visit the San Jacinto Girl Scouts Council Information Network to register for one of the already-scheduled classes held throughout the year.

These healthy learning opportunities aren't limited to scouts--anyone can join in the fun! Now other youth groups have picked up the scent and made their way to RecipeHouse. The Jack & Jill Woodlands Chapter and a local National Charity League chapter of ninth grade girls have put their aprons on, too. We offer customizable cooking classes for all ages designed for you and your friends, family and coworkers at both RecipeHouse and Hope Farms. If you are interested in booking a cooking class, give us a shout at (713) 520-0443 or info-at-recipe4success-dot-org

USDA Vote of Confidence

Recipe for Success
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Vets Nov 2018.jpgWe are very excited to share the news of our selection for the largest grant in the nation conferred by USDA in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs to support our program to teach Veterans to farm and incubate their new new urban agribusinesses in Houston. With a three-year $1 million grant we will expand our training program to serve 24 Vets and bring a new Veteran Outreach Ambassador onboard at Hope Farms. Trainees go through a fully paid, 2,000 hour multi-disciplinary program of horticulture and business curriculum over the course of one or two years. Then we help them launch their new enterprises.

One of our motivations in tailoring the Hope Farmer Training Program to Vets was the discovery of how well warriors with post traumatic stress responded to working in a horticultural environment.

"When you've been surrounded by death, hate and tragedy, being in a field surrounded by life--the soil the plants the sounds the wind, it's extremely theraputic. Healing does happen." Daniel Smith, graduate of Hope Farmer Training program.

Now veterans can continue to give back to their community by nourishing them with healthy food. What could be better?

Pictured above are Vet Trainees, Chrostopher Katthage and Jose Montemayor with Justin Myers, Cheif Agricutlural Officer and Jamie Zarate, Hope Farms Manager.

We Don't Lose with Snooze

Recipe for Success
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IMG_3383.jpgOver 400 volunteers and members of our boards and committees pitched up on a Saturday morning to kick-off the holiday season with a complimentary breakfast from our newest community partners Snooze Eatery to benefit the Foundation. We all had a delicious time and raised an outstanding $2,700 to benefit Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ in our Showcase Schools--MAcGregor and Rodriguez Elementarys in Houston. Who doesnt love pancakes? Next event with Snooze will be a Pancake Breakfast at Hope Farms to kick-off our free Earth Day Family Festival at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday April 6. Pictured above, Advisory Board (AB) member Karen Penner with her family.

Let's S.P.I.C.E. Things Up!

Recipe for Success
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Sharon & Jackie.jpgIt's an exciting time at the Foundation as we take our volunteer engagement to the next phase with the launch of S.P.I.C.E. Guild in 2019. Special People Influencing Children's Eating are all generous individuals who will support the mission of Recipe for Success Foundation through a personal commitment of time and resources. Advisory Board Members Sharon Sanders and Jackie Fair (pictured above) have taken on the job of developing and launching our new Guild Program with the help of CIGNA Community Ambassador Fellow, Christi Bowers. We are so excited to design and implement a Guild structure that allows our already committed volunteers to take ownership of key public facing elements at Hope Farms including an Education Committee to manage the children's cooking and gardening classes; a Garden Committee to maintain our Pollinator Garden, Children's Garden and Chef's Kitchen Garden; Special Events Committee to produce our free Earth Day Festival and First Saturday at Hope Farms events; Operations Committee to oversee member buy-out events; and the Farm Shop Committee to operate our retail boutique. Every element of S.P.I.C.E. work will support our efforts to Teach, Insprie and Empower healthy eating and to use Hope Farms to build community around shared meals and harvest celebrations. Intersted in joining? Email Taylor. Definitely plan on showing your support us as we celebrate the S.P.I.C.E. Guild's initial efforts with a Pancake Breakfast at our Earth Day Festival on April 6.

Kicking off 2019 with VegOut!

Recipe for Success
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Gracie and Maggie Vegout 2019.jpgMaggie Flecknoe and CW39 showed up at RecipeHouse to get some delicious VegOut! recipe inspiration from Chef Greg Martin of Bistro Menil. From a Super Veggie Bowl to Braised Chinese Cabbage and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Balsamic Vinegar, Greg helped us check off 13 Veg right off the bat. Maggie started a CW39 team so you can join her in the fun as part of your new years resolution to get healthy, but we warn you--she's pretty competitive. Jump in the fun of #VegOut2019 at and see the entire segment with Maggie HERE.

2018 Was a Whirlwind

Recipe for Success
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Gracie in Chefs Garden.jpg2018 was an exciting year for Recipe for Success Foundation. We launched our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ programs in a dozen new elementary schools in Texas and Louisiana where we teach kids healthy eating skills; we inspired over 12,000 people across the country --and even a few in Australia--to make healthy choices with our VegOut! Challenge; and we transformed 7.5 acres in Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood into a vibrant urban farm where we grew more than 50,000 pounds of fresh produce, inducted three U.S. Veterans into our farmer training program and welcomed thousands of visitors.

Hope Farms has become not only a resource for fresh, affordable produce in Houston, but also a bucolic setting to inspire people, young and old, to reach for the healthy choice. Our weekly farm stand, full schedule of cooking and gardening classes, hundreds of student field trips each year, community meals crafted from freshly harvested food and shared around the table in our Gathering Barn and our harvest celebrations like the annual Earth Day Festival, all help Houstonians connect with healthy food in a new and exciting way.

We have a hopeful vision and a commitment to building a healthier world. Hoping to see you around our table in 2019!

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