Welcome to the Garden
Located in the Kashmere Gardens neighborhood in northeast Houston, our Willie H. & Gladys R. Goffney Community Garden is integral to the work we do. Each year, this 2-acre garden which houses 100 beds provides 9,000 pounds of fresh produce for community members in need of food assistance. We grow fruits and vegetables that thrive in the hot, humid Houston summers. Anything we grow also must produce A LOT – 9,000 pounds of zucchini grows much faster than 9,000 pounds of watermelon. The produce is also grown organically – no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. As Mark, our Garden Assistant has said, “we want to produce the finest organic food, because nobody deserves anything less.”
The day we pick the produce is the day clients receive it. There is no shortage of variety from our garden either. On a tour walking through the beds, Mark will pull the giant squash leaves aside and show you the bright yellow squash growing from equally bright yellow flowers. A little farther down you can see the tops of carrots growing up and up. If you brush a little dirt aside, you can see the bright orange tip of a few carrots stand out in the dirt. Lupe, our Garden Coordinator, is quick to point out her favorite vegetable – zucchini. She says, “our zucchini sometimes grows so big they get their own names.” She will also show you the raised beds full of tomatoes and green beans, all bright and looking incredibly delicious, and all for the community members who need it. Lupe and Mark are both very passionate about what they do, and we hope you visit to see this passion firsthand!
All for the Community
We call it a “community” garden because that is precisely who it belongs to – the members of our community. The nutritious food we produce is an incredibly important addition to the distributions of food that go out to our clients. Fresh produce can be hard to find in the neighborhoods we serve – areas that are called “food desserts” because of the lack of access to healthy, nutritious food. Grocery stores are few and far between, and often the closest store to buy food might be a convenience store or dollar store where healthy food options are scarce.
Community members and volunteers are critical to the growth of our garden. Volunteers are invited to come spend the day in our garden, assisting in various projects that keep it going. You can build garden beds, turn soil, weed, plant, water, and harvest. Growing 9,000 pounds of produce each year is no easy feat, the more volunteers we have the more we can do for the community we serve. Our garden is big enough to host large groups – we have had as many as 240 people at one time, and opportunities are available 6 days a week. If you are interested in volunteering please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or sign-up here.
In the next few weeks, we will be sharing some exciting news about our expanding Garden program. So, stay tuned!