Some of those youngsters may go home to gardens that flourish near their homes. Neighbors work plots in these community gardens for their own tables and to donate to others. At the 17th Street Garden, one of the plots is handicap accessible. Meredith Gardens turned a vacant lot Green with organic fruits and vegetables in graceful, curved beds.
Other new growing areas heal the blemishes of abandoned lots in underserved Houston neighborhoods. The City of Houston provides the funding to break up concrete and prepare the soil. Then Urban Harvest works with community residents to help them turn eyesores into eye-popping gardens. So far, three vacant-lot gardens flourish.
Houston, says Urban Harvest volunteer Ray Sher, looks Greener and eats healthier these days. “All around me are gardens,” he says. “I think Urban Harvest had a great deal to do with that. Thousands come through those classes that are jam-packed. This has an enormous impact near their homes.”
All can experience that at Bayou City Farmers Market, where this year’s second crop of tomatoes will arrive during Houston’s long, warm fall.