Earth Day came a little early for Houston this year. A festival was held at Discovery Green this past Saturday to celebrate all things environmental. The promise of free trees and farm-fresh treats lured us downtown during the day despite our mild hangover. We knew we were in for a good time when we were greeted by a handful of ruby-red strawberries artfully scattered on the sidewalk leading to the park -- very unusual, yet strangely intriguing. Though we were hungry enough to consider scooping up some of these leftovers, we wisely waited to get our own bag.
The main sidewalk corridor was lined with local farmers and gourmet food purveyors hawking their goodies. We sampled dishes from several tables before purchasing some of the strawberries, a few bags of mixed lettuces, vegetable samosas, iced coffee and snow cones. There was also a woman selling some good-looking pies and a stand promising "hot donuts," but we were too full to indulge that much.
Some humanitarian children volunteered at a table with the aim of teaching their young peers about the benefits of good nutrition. But we feel that they might have missed the mark just slightly with their sugar- and fat-laden granola, vanilla yogurt and extra honey. Still, they were kind enough to bust out a bag of frozen blueberries for us to top our handmade parfaits with, so we can't fault them too much. All their snacks were free to consume, which was extremely cool.
We were promised a vegan snack table but never quite found it. This was likely our fault due to delirium from the overbearing sun. Despite this, there were plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians, meat-eaters and everyone in between. Our beagle even enjoyed her share of organic dog treats, which the baker was kind enough to let us sample.
The produce had to be taken home and cleaned before consumption, and we were disappointed to find out that though the strawberries were locavore-approved, they were not organic (still tasty, though). The samosas were light and flaky, with a flavorful potato filling. The bag of five was fully emptied within minutes.