I’m a huge foodie. And when word got around a few months ago that famed Chef Anthony Bourdain would film an episode of Parts Unknown in H-Town, I’ve attempted to keep up with his potential whereabouts. I know the neighborhoods and restaurants and eateries and dives I’d suggest to him– naturally some of which in Montrose unsurprisingly; however I’ve recently read while in the ‘Trose, Mr. Bourdain visited a sustainable farm ran by immigrants and I was intrigued. As a former 3.5 year Montrose resident I’ve been to plenty of farmer’s markets and co-ops but have somehow missed this gem of an organization: Plant it Forward.

Plant it Forward is working with the best and worst of what Houston has to offer. The best being the record number of refugees that make our diverse city grand. The worst being the lack of locally sourced produce in the area in order to reduce the need to import fresh foods here. Plant it Forward works with religious and social groups, farmers and businesses to provide the necessary land tools and equipment refugees need to be successful.

But what IS a refugee? The word and synonyms have been loosely tossed about in media more and more in the last year but “refugees are people who are forced to flee their home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion;” and Houston has welcomed quite a few refugees.

“Houston is in the process of reinventing itself, perhaps more than in any other major city in America. That change will be advanced only if we create access to healthy food, if we make the best use of the land and assets we have available, and if our neediest are given opportunities to support themselves. By fostering the sustainable growth of both the city and its individuals, Plant It Forward Farms can help lead Houston to a healthier, more prosperous future.” -Plant it Forward

Plant it Forward can be found (and bought!) from farm stands and farmers markets including Urban Harvest Eastside Farmers Market, Farmers Market At Imperial, Farmers Market on Grand Parkway, East End Street Market and Memorial Villages Farmers Market. Plant it forward also provides farm shares where consumers can pay for weekly pick ups of fresh fruits and veggies! If you’ve ever dined at some of Houston’s finest hot-spots, chances are you’ve tasted what Plant it Forward has to offer as numerous chefs and restaurants are utilizing the benefits of this non-profit. Down House, Uchi, Underbelly, Oxheart, Local Foods, and Revival Market are just some of the cook shops Plant it Forward’s delicious spoils are gracing tables full of hungry customers.

While Bourdain was caught at a Montrose farm located at the University of St. Thomas, Braeswood Church, St. Paul Presbyterian Church and Westbury Community Garden all are the current listed plant grounds, but Plant it Forward is growing with new gardens to be updated soon.

It’s vital organizations helping people and the city like Plant it Forward stay afloat, so the next time you’re thinking of buyingg fresh and organic, buy through Plant it Forward!

All media courtesy of Plant it Forward.