What started in 1994 as a small organization working to educate Houstonians about growing produce has launched a homegrown produce movement across the region. Today, Urban Harvest’s 130 community gardens, countless classes and school programs fuel the produce passion.
Through farmers markets, Houstonians can bring the joys of local produce into their own kitchens. “The healthiest produce is what is grown locally and organically,” says Mark Bowen, executive director of Urban Harvest. “A farmers market is where you find the freshest produce – often picked that morning or the afternoon before – which offers the best taste and the most nutrients.”
Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Discovery Green
Sundays noon to 4 p.m.
“The Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Discovery Green brings local food to a wide audience,” says Bowen. “The market reaches a more diverse range of customers than our Eastside market.”
“Urban Harvest is a wonderful partner,” says Susanne Theis, programming director for the Discovery Green Conservancy. “We have more produce, grass-fed beef, fresh eggs, free-range chicken, and wonderful prepared foods such as the Indian food and freshly made crepes to order. In June, for the first time at our market, I was able to purchase everything here needed for a meal.”
“We hope it helps people see downtown as a neighborhood,” says Bowen. “Every Sunday is like a community festival, which makes it popular. So much is free at Discovery Green – it’s great for these lean times. With so many activities in the park, it makes it easy to achieve a fit lifestyle,” says Bowen.
City Hall Farmers Market
Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The new City Hall market is a great educational tool that fits well with the mayor’s local food initiative,” says Bowen. “It’s great that it was their idea. Laura Spanjian, the mayor’s sustainability director, had the idea and it was immediately approved by Mayor Parker, who felt it was important to lead by example.”
The City Hall Farmers Market boasts 40 vendors located around the Hermann Square reflection pool. Downtowners will find local produce and foodstuffs such as salad mixes, fresh fruit, cheese, yogurt, locally roasted coffee, and a variety of prepared and hot foods for savory, sustainable lunches. The market also features a Chef’s Corner, where chefs conduct cooking demos using local products.
For more information, contact Urban Harvest at 713.880.5540 or visit www.UrbanHarvest.org.