Our Story


The mission of the Betty and Jacob Friedman Holistic Garden is to provide a place where anyone can learn how to garden and how to use the garden to improve the quality of their life and the lives of others. It can also be used as a tool to bring about improvements in neighborhoods and urban areas.


The Betty and Jacob Friedman Holistic Garden was established in 2018 by the Houston Jewish Community Foundation on behalf of the estate of Betty Friedman and cultivated under the tutelage of Joe Novak, who is widely regarded as one of Texas's leading horticulture experts. The site is open to the public for those eager to learn how to garden in the Houston climate or for those lifelong gardeners enthusiastic to learn new gardening methods. Care and tending of the garden is maintained by volunteers made up of Rice students, faculty and staff, and local community members, and much of the produce is served to Rice students in their residential serveries.