Bob Randall, PhD

BobRandallBob Randall is the Retired founding Executive Director of Urban Harvest, Inc.- the 4th largest community gardening program in North American. He is a professional anthropologist with 47 years of experience in research, publishing, and work on international, national, and local issues related to wise horticulture, food production, ecosystems, hunger and education.

In his visionary fourteen year tenure as Executive Director of Urban Harvest Inc., Randall became the go-to guy for growing fruits and vegetables, here in Houston. Armed with the diehard support of a small staff and volunteers, he built a nonprofit organization that feeds the hungry, teaches organic and permaculture principles and brings neighborhoods together through 130 community gardens.

In 1994, Randall met with conservationist and co-founder of The Park People, Terry Hershey, to discuss an expanded community garden program. That discussion gave birth to Urban Harvest as a project of The Park People with a $500 budget, hiring of Randall, Kelsey and fruit specialist George McAfee as staff as well as the acquisition of a board of directors and a few volunteers. They met like gypsies in free office spaces or Randall’s living room until settling in humble basement quarters at the former Dow Elementary School in Houston’s Sixth Ward. Together they built gardens, a large outdoor classroom program, an organic curriculum, initiated local farmer’s markets and the Organic Horticulture Business-Education Alliance, a forum for environmental education. Randall is credited with the vision to improve the quality of life in Houston through a network of gardens and orchards.