UH harvests gardening skills
Urban Harvest, a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting locally grown food in Houston, hosted a fruit tree care class on campus over the winter break.
People from all over the city visited Oberholtzer Hall at 10 a.m. Saturday with reusable water bottles and iPads in hand for an in-depth lecture on growing fruit at home by Bob Randall, one of the founding executive members of the organization.
“Gardening is such a broad topic; there is always more to learn,” said Jeff Post, an engineer at Chevron and class participant. “I want to be successful in raising my fruit trees, especially now in these colder months.”
Along with fruit tree care, Urban Harvest hosts a multitude of classes on all subjects of gardening and harvesting. The main goal of the organization is to educate Houstonians on why and how locally grown food is important to the community.
“This work is very important to me as far as providing good quality food to people who can’t grow their own food but want a better alternative to grocery store products,” said Sabina Gartler, a volunteer for Urban Harvest who helped set up the class on campus.
According to the organization’s website, Urban Harvest was responsible for the first modern, certified farmers’ market in Houston through volunteer efforts. The organization also has staff in 20 HISD schools providing outdoor classroom programs and educating children on the benefits of local farming.
“There is no logical reason as to why we don’t grow our own food in Houston,” Randall said. “The resources are readily available, and it’s much cheaper than shopping at grocery store chains.”
Randall noted that among the many benefits of local food production are the decrease in money exported from the country, the reduction of carbon emissions and the exercise gardening provides.
“Houston consumes 16,000 tons of food every day, and we could be producing that right here at home,” Randall said.
Upcoming events on campus include the Growing Organic Vegetables Series (10 classes) from 6:30 to 9 p.m. beginning Jan. 23 in McElhinney Hall, Room 106. For more information, visit urbanharvest.org.