Transforming Communities: The Palm Center Farmer’s Market and Community Garden
By Terry Garner
We all know that fresh fruits and vegetables play a key role in staying healthy and living
a longer and more enjoyable life. However, having readily accessible nutritious foods still is a
challenge for some communities where large grocery chains refuse to locate their stores. These
areas have been deemed “food deserts” for lack of having enough viable stores that sell healthy
What is being done to address the lack of accessibility to healthy foods? During the past
two years, the Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance (SEHTA) has put together two
exciting and new programs that provide residents in the OST/South Union area and greater
Houston with better access to healthy foods. With gardening and our own farmer’s market, we
are creating and developing resources that can empower and transform communities. By
growing, sharing, and selling our own produce, we hope to develop economic opportunities for
the community as well.
Gardening can also bridge gaps between young and old by helping our youth develop
and pass on a lifelong skill they need and can use – how to grow food. A recent visitor to our
garden whose children attend KIPP Liberation School told us that “my nephew and daughter
had a blast at the garden, and I may have a shot at getting them to eat more vegetables now!”
Our goal is to start 25 backyard gardens by June of 2016. To make this goal a reality, we
will offer Gardening 101 classes every third Saturday of the month at Palm Center Community
Garden, 5400 Griggs at Beekman. Our next class will be held on Nov. 21, 2015 from 10-11:30
a.m. We provide participants with free soil evaluations, technical assistance and education to
start their own home garden. Backyard gardeners will reap the benefits of fresh eating,
agriculture education, active living, and family fun. Contact Breanna Cotton at 832-483-6051 or
stop by the garden during operating hours for more information.
If you want to know more about our community garden and farmer’s market or would
like to be a vendor at the market, here’s how: To stay up to date on produce offered, upcoming
classes, important dates and photos, “like” the Palm Center Farmer’s Market on Facebook. You
can also visit sehta.org to get more information and access our SEHTA Palm Center Farmers Market 2015 Vendor Application Form. Not
tech savvy? Contact Breanna Cotton at 832-483-6051.
About the author: Terry Garner is a master gardener and farmer’s market manager who
has been instrumental in establishing community gardens throughout the Houston area.