Feed your family, your community with healthy food you grow
By Urban Harvest, Inc.
The term ‘food security’ is being used more and more these days.
We hear the phrase and immediately something comes to our minds,
even if the question we ask ourselves is “what does food
We can think of this on world, national, city and local
community levels. On a world level, we think about availability
of food to feed drought-parched countries where there is no
food. Where will this food come from, who will grow it, who will
pay for it, and how will it get transported from one country to
another and then to the people within the country who are
On a national level, we know that 13 percent of people living in
the U.S. are at or below poverty level, and that 1 in 4 children
live in households that struggle to put food on the table. When
we talk about food, we are usually not even talking about
nutritious food, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes,
seeds and nuts, which are the foods that build healthy bodies
On a local level, we get to make decisions of where we get our
food. Most of us can go to a nearby grocery store. Some of us
live in a ‘food desert’, which is defined as a district with
little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet
but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants and
convenience stores. This means that residents, who do not have
personal transportation have to ride a bus, walk or find a ride
to a grocery, or they have to shop at the convenience stores
where there is little or no fresh nutritious food.
What can be done about food deserts in our communities? We have
good options that are being used in many communities. We can
grow vegetables, fruits and herbs in our yards. For those who
have shady yards or who live in apartments, a community garden
is often an answer. From my experience, once there is a
community garden in a neighborhood, residents flock to the
garden and are eager to grow their own food.
There are hundreds of community gardens spread throughout metro
Houston, and if one does not exists in your area, starting one
is a great community endeavor. With a few hours work a week, a
great deal of nutritious vegetables and fruit can be produced,
in a small space. The University of Houston school garden might
be a good place to start to volunteer.
To learn how to grow your own food or how to start a community
garden, Urban Harvest has helpful classes that can provide
everything needed to be successful. For a community garden,
Urban Harvest has regular ‘How to Start a Community Garden’
classes, which cover all aspects of organization, design,
budgeting and growing. The next series begins October 10th.
For the back yard gardener, Urban Harvest teaches numerous
classes. One class covers the A to Z on how to construct a
garden, while another covers what vegetables to grow for the
coming season and how to grow them. These classes are taught by
gardeners experienced in raised bed gardening techniques, which
is the method of choice all over metro Houston.
To learn more about some of the community gardens in the Houston
area, check the directory of community gardens on the Urban
Harvest website. You may be surprised at how easy it is to join
with community gardeners in learning how to garden and in
producing an abundant harvest of vegetables you like to eat.
This article is provided by Urban Harvest, Inc. To learn
about gardening classes, farmers markets, school and community
gardens and more go to
www.urbanharvest.org or call
713-880-5540 for more information. This article was written by
Ray Sher who is a gardening and permaculture instructor,
vegetable and fruit garden consultant, and works his large
intensive home vegetable, fruit and herb garden using organic
methods. Contact him at