New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Community gardens across Houston work to end food deserts’ thirst

Icet is an urban farmer who has been managing numerous garden and agriculture projects over the course of 18 years in the Third and Fifth Wards.

Eastern Houston has more than 30 neighborhoods that may classify as food deserts.

By Dana C. Jones
The Daily Cougar
January 24, 2018


According to the Foreign Agricultural Service section of the USDA, the highest producers of world commodities like grain, corn and rice come from Mexico and countries in Africa and Central America. According to the Migration Policy Institute, more than one fifth of Houston metro residents are foreign-born and ranked fifth for largest immigrant population and third for immigrants coming from Mexico and Honduras.

“We have a sizable group of immigrants from Africa who are some of the most skilled farmers in the world,” Icet said. “If we take that diversity and took seed from different cultures, we could create an awesome urban agriculture in the city.”

Immigrants can bring their customs with them and add diversity to the crops into the gardens. In gardens that serve high Spanish-speaking populations, such as the Southwest and Hiram Clarke locations, local farmers grow carrots, radishes, onions and lettuce, which are used frequently in Hispanic dishes.

The African immigrants Icet worked with would spend their Sundays driving around town trying to find the right ingredients for their dishes. When they found the community garden, they ate what they grew.

“You don’t have to teach them how to farm because they already know how,” Icet said. “You just have to create access to land.”

Read the complete article here.