Founded in 2013, GROW Local South Texas has garnered a well-deserved reputation as the leader of the local food movement in Corpus Christi, TX, and The Coastal Bend. We’ve earned this role by adhering to clear and simple values and a focused mission:
To cultivate a healthy community by growing the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable foods.
Under the direction of an all-volunteer board, GROW Local South Texas has grown from a grass-roots effort to employing a part time staff, hundreds of members and dozens of dedicated volunteers. Funding comes from memberships, individual and corporate donations, private foundations, and public grants.
Our main programs include:
- The Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers’ Market, est. 2012
- The Learning Garden, est. 2013
- Our Monthly Education Workshop Program
- BAWKtoberfest, Corpus Christi’s Backyard Chicken Coop Tour, est. 2014
- The Educational Beehive, est. 2015
- Our Annual Farm-to-Table Dinner, est. 2013
- Living Local Summer Camp with Youth Odyssey, est 2015
GROW Local South Texas has a vision…
- to change the way Corpus Christi eats and thinks about local food and our community’s quality of life.
- to create a community where locally produced, healthy, affordable food is accessible to all
- to create a community where a majority of its citizens grow and produce some of their own foods using organic and sustainable methods
- to create a community that supports local production as the only long term sustainable model for local economy
- to create a community where healthy lifestyle is a priority
It All Began With a Farmers’ Market
4 years and 2 locations later, The Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers’ Market is a Bayfront institution.
Finding our ‘forever home’ on The Bayfront at The Art Center of Corpus Christi solidified The Farmers’ Market’s presence as an essential downtown, weekly event.
Then We Planted a Garden
After operating the Downtown Farmers’ Market for several months, we learned that South Texas required more food producers. To meet the demand we intended to create we would have to raise supply. We would have to teach people how to GROW food so we created The Learning Garden, an Adopt-a-Park agreement with The City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department. The Garden is located at 3808 Up River Road in the Oak Park Neighborhood.
The Learning Garden is a community teachinggarden, the only of its kind in South Texas. The accomplishments over its three year life are vast. We have expanded The Garden’s function as a community garden classroom with increased infrastructure, more volunteers and apprentices, increased produce volume and expanded programming.
GROW Local South Texas began in 2013 and in our three short years, we have put our hands in the dirt to successfully GROW concepts never seen in South Texas: thriving farmers’ markets and community gardens, food security awareness, a sustainable food system, local food on local menus, modern local food policy and the benefits of a complete healthy lifestyle.
GROW the local food network by linking all local food stakeholders: producers, buyers, educators and community supporters. GROW producers by creating educational (hands-on and classroom) opportunities. GROW more local produce.
GROW the number of points where consumers can access fresh and local produce by GROWing, managing and supporting farmers’ markets, by GROWing the number of local restaurants using local ingredients, by GROWing the number of neighborhood gardens through our support and network.
GROW the number of producers in our community by providing educational opportunities. Educate the community on the need for locally grown, organic and sustainable foods and GROWing methods.
- for local producers
- for policies that promote local food production
- for a network that creates easily accessible links between producers and buyers
- for promotion of local food producers and programs that support these same initiatives
Our programming goals:
- A strong network and resource hub for all local food production and initiatives facilitated through a well thought out website.
- Educational classes and workshops
- The Learning Garden – offering apprenticeships, field trips, classes and volunteer opportunities.
- Promotion and management of Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers Market
- Farm to Table initiatives.
- Grant money brought to the community to support the GROWth of these initiatives.
- A thriving organization of community members who desire to learn, support and GROW the local food movement.