HOUSTON - Did you realize there's a farm in the shadows of downtown Houston? Its founder is determined to help reduce the obesity rate through farm-fresh foods.
On the busiest shopping day of the year, they're offering very different and healthy choices for holiday gifts this Black Friday.
Hope Farms is in the historic Sunnyside neighborhood. Workers there hope to build a healthier Houston and believe this is the time for us all to make healthier choices.
“We feel like this is a good year to give experiences for the holidays, instead of stuff. So what’s better, than something delicious from Hope Farms, whether it's a farm share, a week's worth of produce, weekly deliveries for a month, deliveries all year long, or maybe it's a cooking class here at the farm. Maybe it's a field trip for your whole family, just to experience real food and where real food comes from, in a safe environment where you can socially distance,” states Gracie Cavnar, the CEO of Recipe for Success and Hope Farms.
She's concerned that more than 23 million children in the U.S. are obese and uses her foundation to bring awareness and offer healthy foods to local kids. She says making it fun to eat healthy can make a big difference for everyone in the family.
“We are focused on growing affordable produce for our neighbors, but also showing everyone in the city, where does your food come from? So we're on seven acres here, we grow lots of produce. Well, Tyler grows lots of produce. We also give cooking and gardening classes to inspire you, to get in touch with healthy food yourself, whether it's ours, or whatever you grow in your own backyard, and we train people to become urban farmers, so you can sign up for our three month class and learn all the basics of becoming an urban farmer,” says Gracie.
The USDA finds the farm so impressive, it has invested in a program to train military veterans to become urban farmers.
“They get a scholarship and a stipend to train with us, which is fun,” states Gracie.
They also offer internships and jobs to neighborhood youth.
As Gracie mentioned, Tyler Froberg is responsible for growing all of the produce. He's a fifth generation farmer and has spent his life soaking-up knowledge about how to grow veggies just right.
“So we're really lucky here in Texas, because we get to grow 52 weeks out of the year, but our seasons do change. And so this features some of our delicious greens, like some of our delicious fresh romaine lettuce, and of course, some of the old classics like turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, sugar snap peas, snow peas, beets, radishes, and the list goes on,” explains Tyler.
You can get their fresh harvest delivered straight to your door, or gift it to a loved one, as part of a program called community-supported agriculture.
“It's the farmer’s choice. It's not a situation like for the grocery store to say, I want this and this today. It's really what is the freshest at the peak flavor in the fields. That's what we're harvesting, and you've never tasted veg like this, something that was harvested just hours before it hit your doorstep,” says Gracie.
“It means a lot to us to know who grows it, put a face to it here at the farm, and you'll know that it was picked fresh right here this morning,” says Tyler.
They like to say, “Know Your Farmer”.
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