Plant It Forward Farms has long been known for selling weekly boxes of fresh and flavorful local produce farmed by refugees through its Farm Share program.
Now you can add more color and sweet smells to your “farm share” in the form of bright and beautiful bouquets of flowers grown and picked at a local farm run by women in the International Management District.
The Shamba Ya Amani (Farm of Peace) farm, was founded in 2020 amid the pandemic and is run by the FAM Houston’s Women’s Empowerment Group, which includes women of all ages, most of them refugees and immigrants from Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and other African countries, as well as women who grew up in the U.S.
Similarly, Plant It Forward Farms (PIF) works with refugees with agricultural backgrounds who resettled here with few options for finding meaningful, dignified work that utilizes their crucial skill sets. The organization’s model combines non-profit and for-profit business structures to advance local agriculture in the Houston region.
Together, they are selling the “flower shares” with proceeds benefitting the non-profit organizations. Think zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds, celosia, gomphrena and cosmos.
While PIF has several farms spread across the Houston area, the Shamba Ya Amani farm is located on land owned by the Alief Independent School District and managed by the International District. The farm address is 8401 Dairy View Lane, across the street from Youngblood Intermediate School.
The partnership kicked off in June, when local residents had the opportunity to purchase brightly colored, organic bouquets wrapped in brown paper and embellished with the FAM Houston/Shamba Ya Amani logos. They were prepared and available for pick up at the same time as PIF Farm Shares.
Seasonal bouquets will be offered again July 20 to Aug. 10 and Sept. 4 to Oct. 5.
Customers can order a single flower share or one every week. The price for each share is $27, and the more flower shares you purchase in advance, the lower the price per bouquet.
Pick-up times and locations for the flower orders are 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the PIF Warehouse at 4030 Willowbend Blvd., and the Nature Discovery Center at 7112 Newcastle St. in Bellaire.
“The mission of Shamba Ya Amani is to feed body and soul,” the FAM Houston group says on its website. “It’s a space to collectively grow vegetables and fruits beloved by the African diaspora community and to create a space for communal gathering and healing and belonging for everyone who comes to work in it.”
The bouquets are grown locally and sustainably and will no doubt feed the souls of whoever is lucky enough to take home a bunch.
To sign up for a flower share, visit https://plantitforward.farm/purchaseourproduce/. Click on “Farm Share Sign Up” and then look for the “Flower Shares Available” note next to the two pick-up locations where they will be offered.
To learn more about Plant It Forward Farms, visit https://plantitforward.farm.
For more information about FAM Houston and Shamba Ya Amani, visit https://www.famhoustontx.org/shamba-ya-amani.
— Dorothy Puch Lillig