Urban Farming Gains a Foothold in Houston
In June 2014, Thomas and Daniel Garcia-Prats founded Finca Tres Robles (in English, Three Oaks Farm) in an industrial area of Houston's East End. But their domain may soon be contested: "The access to vacant land has been an issue this past year, with Houston's booming real estate market coming at odds with growing operations, like the community garden lost to townhouses in Midtown. The brothers Garcia-Prats have a deal with a local business that's leasing them their odd-shaped 1.25-acre lot at an affordable rate for a minimum of 3 years."
Recently, urban farming has become more popular in a city with abundant, relatively cheap land. It's seen as a way to pursue local resilience and self-sufficiency. "The brothers speak specifically about tracking their water usage so that they can be independent from the city's water supply, with talk of sensors being installed in the future along crop rows to monitor moisture levels."
In a further bid for independence from the gentrification process, the brothers want to steer clear of the hipster economy. "To avoid becoming simply a farm supplying chic local restaurants, Finca Tres Robles has made it their mission to sell the majority of their fruits and vegetables to folks in the 77011 area code."