farm fresh produce
Houston community farms bloom with fresh alternatives to the grocery store
Despite the occasional lines and increased demand, grocery stores across Houston remain stocked with produce, and some restaurants have helped alleviate the pressure by selling staples, too. Still, Houstonians who are more concerned about social distancing or want a more personal connection to their food should consider purchasing directly from a local farm.
Sure, it’s great to know what produce is available or how it was grown, but buying directly from a local farm allows people to know who grew their produce. Some farms also offer options such as curbside pickup or delivery, making them convenient for people who are concerned about social distancing.
Community-supported agriculture (CSAs) allow people to purchase a share of a farm’s production. Typically, they’re sold monthly or seasonally in half (enough for one or two people) or full (enough for a family of four) shares.
Local non-profit Urban Harvest has collected lots of resources related to the coronavirus pandemic on its website. The organization’s weekly farmers market in River Oaks remains open Saturdays from 8 am - 12 pm.
Hope Farms, the 7-acre urban farm in south Houston operated by local nonprofit Recipe for Success, will deliver its spring season weekly from April 7 to June 30. Each package contains 10-12 different varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs picked by the facility’s farmers.
Customers who commit to a full season ($585) receive free delivery. A monthly package ($180) can be picked up either at the farm (10401 Scott St.) or at Recipe for Success’ office in Montrose (4400 Yupon St.).
Finca Tres Robles, an urban farm in Houston’s East End, will start its spring season April 1; it runs for 14 weeks and ends July 1. Although half shares ($315) are sold out, the farm still has some full shares ($490) available.
It also offers two weekly option called the Plow and the Train. Named for the two symbols in the City of Houston’s official insignia, the $28 bag can be ordered for an individual (The Plow) or donated to someone in the community (The Train).
Purchase in advance via the farm’s website for pickup at its farmstand (257 N. Greenwood St.) on Wednesday or Saturday. Each bag provides seven to10 vegetables and herb produced by Finca and other urban farms — Plant It Forward, Verdegreens' Farms, The Common Market Texas, and Whitehurst Heritage Farms. Over the next few weeks, those bags will include some combination of greens such as spinach and collards, vegetables such as squash and beets, and herbs like parsley and dill.
“Because we’re sourcing from a couple different spots, we’re making sure there’s enough bulk in the bag to make it worth people’s while,” Finca Tres Robles co-founder Tommy Garcia-Prats tells CultureMap. “If there’s one or two people, we’re trying to make it go a fair bit for [them].”
Plant It Forward has its own CSA that's available year-round in small ($23 per week) and large ($34 per week) shares for 4, 12, 24, and 52-week subscriptions. With a network of eight farms across the Houston area and approximately two dozen pick up points around the city, PIF operates one of Houston's largest CSAs. See their website for details.