Piggy Bank Now Accepting Applications


Together, Piggy Bank and The Butcher’s Ball collected monetary contributions for relief and recovery efforts in support of heritage breed pig ranchers in Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Contributors will receive a receipt from Piggy Bank acknowledging their donation. Piggy Bank proudly operates as a project of the Trust for Conservation Innovation (T4CI), which helps environmental leaders fulfill their visions by providing nonprofit status and fiscal sponsorship services for innovative conservation projects. To learn more about T4CI, please visit: http://trustforconservationinnovation.org/

One hundred percent of the funds received by Piggy Bank will be distributed to ranchers impacted by the hurricane and subsequent flooding. An application will be made available to all ranchers interested in being considered for a portion of the relief funds for ranching operations within the counties included in the Presidential Disaster Declaration for FEMA assistance. Membership in any association or parties is NOT necessary to be eligible and will not be considered in distributing funds.

The application will request information about losses and/or disaster related expenses to aid in distributing funds. Documentation of losses and/or expenses will be required. A committee comprised of local producers, Piggy Bank and local Texas leadership will review the applications and determine a method to equitably distribute the funds. Timing of distribution is unknown at this point. We will balance allowing enough time for contributions to be received with the desire for ranchers to receive the funds as soon as possible.

The committee will comprise of the following members:

Brady Lowe, Piggy Bank
Elaine Dillard, The Butchers Ball
Jonathan Beitler, The Butchers Ball
Joyce Hunter, Piggy Bank
James Carr, Cochon555
Tyler Horne, Urban Harvest
Felix Florez, Black Hill Meats
Jason Schimmels, 44Farms

For more information contact:

Brady Lowe - Project Director | Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank: http://www.piggy-bank.org 
Email: gift@piggy-bank.org   
Phone: (404) 849-3569

Elaine Dillard | Event Director
The Butchers Ball: https://www.butchersball.com
Email: elainedillard@gmail.com
Phone: (713) 819-1423

Federally-declared disaster counties eligible for Relief Funds include: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.

Rebuilding The Challenger 7 Garden

A fully-functioning donation garden prior to Harvey, Challenger 7 was flooded out and completely devastated. The Challenger 7 Community Garden was started in the early '90s in the Challenger 7 Park near Webster as a donation garden. The garden now has 15 beds, and all of the vegetables are donated to food pantries in Clear Lake, League City and Pearland. Prior to Harvey, the garden was averaging about 2,700 pounds of donated vegetables each year.

On Saturday, November 18, the first workday began in the garden. All of the beds need to be cleared of weeds and dead plants that have established since the flooding, as well as rebuilding the soil health by adding ammendments of compost and MicroLife.

Additional workdays will begin in January. If you are interested in helping restore this garden, click here to volunteer.


SNAP Launches

Our SNAP benefits program at the Saturday Farmers Market at Eastside successfully kicked off on November 18. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits cover fruits, vegetables and herbs; cheese, eggs and other dairy products; meat products; bread and other baked goods; honey and maple syrup; jams, jellies and sauces; and seeds and plants that produce food. 

“By being a part of the SNAP benefits program, Urban Harvest is providing access to locally-grown produce, meats and more to the community at large,” said Scott Howard, President of the Urban Harvest Board of Directors.  “In addition, we are increasing a buying audience for our area farmers and vendors, thereby strengthening a local, sustainable food system.”

SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to the communities.

Harvest Celebration

The beautiful weather on Saturday, November 11 provided an ideal environment for the 18th Annual Harvest Celebration. This community celebration of our 133 garden affiliates was held at the Westbury Community Garden and featured a potluck meal, a special presentation about soil by Danny Millikin (Horticulturist for the McGovern Centennial Gardens), and the annual presenting of the Nut Grass and Green Jeans awards, honoring those individuals and gardens who have made significant contributions in the garden community. This year's winners included Christian Community Service Center (Nut Grass Award) and Dana Crawford of the San Jacinto Community Garden (Green Jeans Award).
Over 55 people attended, including representatives from 17 community and school gardens. Panera Bread and Starbucks donated food and a coffee service. The potluck was extensive and scrumptious including many leafy greens, sweet potatoes, brassicas and other fall favorites. Thanks to all who participated and the many, many community gardens who further our mission!




Shade for Sunnyside

by Eric Morris

The Sunnyside Canopy Project aimed to provide much needed shade for the volunteer gardeners in Urban Harvest’s two community gardens in Sunnyside. Sunnyside is one of Houston’s largest food deserts and these gardens provide nutritious fruits and vegetables for the community.

Urban Harvest works closely with communities all over the greater Houston area to better schools, gardens, and public spaces. When I heard that Urban Harvest had projects in Sunnyside, I immediately wanted to learn how I could get involved. I contacted the Community Gardens Coordinator, Dawn Newcomer, and together we planned to install canopies in each of the Sunnyside community gardens. After many hours of planning and revisions, I set to work with the help of my Boy Scout Troop 20 and a youth group from St. Luke’s United Methodist. I could not be more grateful for all of their hard work and dedication and the amount of effort they showed towards the project. First, we dug 3ft holes with a 1-man auger and then installed and sunk 4 posts into each garden, all of which we completed on Saturday, September 30th. As we wrapped up the first day, my work on planning out the second began almost instantly.

The posts were given a week to set and we returned on October 7th to install the canopies onto the posts. On this day 20+ scouts from my troop helped me, which was amazing. During this day, we installed the canopies onto the posts and at the same time, restored garden beds that had been overgrown with weeds due to Hurricane Harvey. Seeing all of the scouts working alongside the garden manager made me feel proud. Knowing that what we were doing was going to make a huge impact in Sunnyside was the most exuberating feeling one can possibly have.

Eric Morris completed his Eagle Scout project with Urban Harvest this fall. He is a senior at St. Pius X High School where he runs cross country. 


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