Texan by Nature, a conservation nonprofit founded by former First Lady Laura Bush, recently selected the honorees of the first-ever Texan by Nature 20 (TxN 20), an official ranking of 20 companies with Texas operations that have made a demonstrative commitment to conservation. The list recognizes the best and most innovative work in conservation from Texas businesses. Among giants like Dell, Southwest Airlines, Union Pacific and HEB, McKinney’s Harvest Seasonal Kitchen made the list.
Harvest was selected not only for its patronage of local farms and commitment to conservation in the restaurant, but also for the work they do supporting educational, agricultural and community initiatives that advance conservation and sustainability in North Texas with the nonprofit Seed Project Foundation.
The community-to-table restaurant was created to connect diners with the local food system. Their seasonal menus are a celebration of local farmers, featuring exceptional products grown close to home. They are committed to strengthening their local community and pushing the bounds of the food movement.
The objective is not just to serve great food, but to make a long-term impact on the community by supporting the businesses of local farmers, ranchers and artisans. When a dollar is spent with a locally owned business, 70 cents of it stays in their community, and it is on this principle that the restaurant operates.
Restaurants typically generate a lot of waste, but Harvest utilizes every piece of the animal or produce. Buying locally lowers their carbon footprint and has a direct positive impact on their local economy. Co-owner Rick Wells grew up in a small farming community in Oklahoma and now lives on an organic farm in nearby Lucas called Water Boy Farms. He believes that we are servants to the environment and the world we raise our children in. The farm supplies Harvest with flowers, honey and produce.
Harvest sources almost all its food from proteins to produce, within a 250-mile radius, visiting local farmers’ markets weekly to shop and seek out new farmers. Their menu changes four times a year, based on what is seasonally available.
The Harvest Seed Project Foundation (spftx.org) funds educational, agricultural and community initiatives that support sustainability. They have funded the construction or expansion of several school gardens in the county from elementary schools to high school Future Farmers of America programs.
Harvest Kitchen is located at 112 E Louisiana St., in McKinney. For more information, visit harvesttx.com.
For more stories like this read Natural Awakenings Dallas-Ft Worth magazine at NADallas.com