The Houston Community Garden is moving forward with plans to build an outdoor kitchen for canning at the garden.
Belinda Lacombe, Stepping Stones Coordinator, told council that the structure would essentially be four legs and a roof.
They call it an outdoor kitchen because they will buy and store kitchen equipment and bring it out for a time during the summer to can their garden harvest, Lacombe said.
Asked why they want to build a building rather then continue to use the tent covering, Lacombe said it’s because of Northern Health regulations on food-related public events.
“Right now with Northern Health, we’re unable to can on site. With an outdoor kitchen, and the proper supplies, we’ll be able to can right on the garden site,” she said.
She says they need to be able to properly harness their kitchen equipment to something firm in order to meet safety regulations.
Asked what they plan to can at the garden, Lacombe said it would be just the harvest from their community garden.
“It’s really about educating the people we’re working with,” said Lacombe, adding that this way they can learn how to process their garden harvest as well as plant, grow and harvest it.
Lacombe says this is part of the Stepping Stones mandate that they are trying to complete, and they have until next March to use the grant funding they received for the project.
“If we can’t get it done before the snow, then we won’t be getting it done,” she said.
Tony Edwards, Interim Director of Engineering for the District of Houston, said it would be a permanent structure and would require an amendment to the lease.
They would need to get a permit and meet the building code before going forward, Edwards told council.
Council agreed to make the necessary amendment to their lease to allow the project to go ahead.