2021 Harvest Celebration Award Winners
On Saturday, November 13th, we held our annual Harvest Celebration recognizing community gardens across the Greater Houston area. A special thank you to Centerpoint Energy for their partnership in our community gardens program that supports over 140 affiliate gardens!
Each year we honor garden leaders make a difference across Houston. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Jean Fefer, winner of The Bob Randall Award
The Bob Randall award celebrates a gardener who has made strides in building a long-lasting community space through their garden.
Hazel Potvin, winner of The Green Jeans Award
This award celebrates a gardener who has been an outstanding volunteer or school garden activist.
Kendra London-Young, winner of The Nut Grass Award
This award celebrates a gardener who has helped the garden overcome adversity or has created large progress in the community garden.
Words from Bob Randall-
I want to thank the organizers of this event for inviting me to talk about the recipient of this year’s award Dr. Jean Fefer.
I hope you will think a minute about the value of awards. The philosopher George Santayana famously wrote that: “Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.” That’s about big mistakes. But what about successes? Shouldn’t we also learn from them and try to repeat them? I think it’s important to study success. And in Jean’s case, there are many successes to try emulating.
Jean Fefer has done so many things to help all of us, but it is also very hard to recall all of it now. It started in my memory some 24 years.
I think I met Jean in 1997 when she took an Urban Harvest class then called something like Master Gardeners Specialty Class in Community Gardens. Jean quickly joined other Master Gardeners Irv Robbins and Raymona Bomar to become community gardeners and stalwart Urban Harvest volunteers.
As I recall, Jean and her life partner Mort were looking for a community garden to volunteer at and for various reasons, a garden at a Spring Branch homeless shelter was in dire need of outside help. As some of you know, such shelters often have land they can use, an urgent need for fresh produce, but a highly transient residential labor force and the few staff have little money and time. So, despite a pressing need at Turning Point, the garden was floundering. Jean listened to our analysis and together with a team she assembled, made the garden work for a decade or more. And in the process showed all of us that people who are knocked off their feet through life’s many bumps and boulders need not be without a decent meal.
If that were all Jean did, it would be plenty. But it wasn’t.