The Farm…where San Antonio goes to GROW
Culinaria’s Farm is coming to life, Spring 2017. The Farm (TF) is a strategic extension of Culinaria in the form of education and is the homegrown effort of many chefs, food professionals, farmers, volunteers, sponsors and a very passionate staff. TF will become the perfect place to learn where your food comes from, while chefs play a starring role in showing you how to create the best flavors from the food you can grow at home.
The purpose of TF will be to promote various growing practices in one place, while bringing awareness to the state of our food production systems. Throughout the year we will host school tours, summer camps, chef-led cooking classes with produce grown on-site, and the unique events that Culinaria is known for. It will be an excellent place for the community to learn about living well and the joys of being involved in watching their garden grow.
Promoting healthy food is a big part of the equation, but more so is the reality that 1 out of 7 Americans is food insecure, not knowing where their next meal might come from. Here in San Antonio, more than 325,000 people go hungry each day. Research has shown that unless Americans are growing their own food, whether indoors or in their backyards, by 2050, all Americans will face some form of food insecurity. Education and programming is needed to implement the next generation’s passion for our food cultures and growing practices.
New & Emerging Technology Taking Root
We’re honored to be partnering with various Universities. Two such programs we’re proud to highlight are the MIT City Farm and the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The MIT City Farm is a first of its kind controlled environment agriculture system, a “food computer,” that can duplicate any climate for growing food. This process maximizes the nutrition and flavor of the produce and minimizes the water, energy, and space used. University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management will be installing an indoor aquaponics system. Aquaponics is the marriage of raising fish and hydroponics – a soil free system that re-uses all its own waste and uses only 1/10th of the water used for soil-based gardening.
TF will be an oasis of green space for growth, reflection, and community involvement. In addition to growing food, native wildflowers and nectar plants will be planted to create a wildlife habitat that encourages birds and pollinators like butterflies, bees, and bats to visit and live on The Farm. Sculptures, paintings, and murals by local artists will add beauty, culture, and local pride. Walking trails will provide calming exercise and green grassy areas will be used for play, physical activity, and gatherings. Benches and a shaded pavilion will give people plenty of places to relax and socialize. From raised bed and container gardens to elaborate vertical double wall and spiral gardens, visitors will see food growing in every place imaginable.
Where San Antonio Goes to Grow
The grounds and programming will be designed to inspire people to grow their own food. No matter what your space or price range is, you will find something you can do at home. The Farm will serve as a center for the community to learn where our food comes from and how to grow it for ourselves. By showing the community how to use new technology and sustainable growing practices to grow its own food, it is our goal to help San Antonio become a beacon of health and conservation.
We believe that education is key, and The Farm is first and foremost an educational endeavor. Throughout the year Culinaria will host school tours, summer camps, chef-led cooking classes and more, focused on education around sustainable planting and building as well as the culinary arts, teaching children and teens of all ages and skills lessons that they will carry with them for a lifetime.
Being healthy takes more than an individual eating better food. Health is dependent on our environment, mind, body, and soul. A visit to Culinaria’s Farm will feed them all. Like the naturalist John Muir wrote, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” In this spirit, let us take heart in the knowledge that our efforts in our community have a global impact.
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