Ready to Grow
Walls is expanding the reach of Ivy Leaf Farms with the opening of The Green Houwse. It will be a combination farm and market located in the middle of the city so it can serve the communities of East Houston, North Houston and South Houston. There also will be a shop that sells plants, coveralls and other goods, allowing Walls to continue to provide produce to the community at little to no cost.
The Green Houwse will host up to 10 residencies of farmers, creatives and artisans, allowing people “of the neighborhood” to start their own microbusinesses and have their own farm stand at the market. “It’s open and available every day for people to come and shop,” says Walls. “And it’s right next to the bus stop—that was one of the biggest things: finding a place that is completely accessible.”
Walls has never stopped delivering food to people’s doorsteps either. One of her other efforts is Black Farmer Box, a produce delivery service and collaboration between Ivy Leaf Farms and Fresh Life Organic, a Houston-based produce company and agriculture consulting firm run by a fellow Prairie View A&M alum.
It’s all fitting with her mission, which Walls describes as “food justice in motion,” meaning getting the food from the farmers straight to the consumers.
What Support Looks Like
All these efforts take funding, Walls says. “Farming is not a cheap thing. Dirt is expensive, soil is expensive, and mending the soil is expensive. Paying farmhands an equitable rate is expensive. The biggest thing is money. … And if you can’t [donate], then like, share, or tell someone about the work that’s being done.”