Meet Lauren Lear
Lauren Lear was born in Houston, TX, and raised throughout the Eastern United States. Before
beginning her most important job as a mom, Lauren attended USC Aiken with a major in Biology.
Her wheels were already turning with the idea to create a method to educate people on
symbiotic homestead practices. Her nurturing personality led her to the food and beverage
hospitality industry. For 20 years, she worked her way up from a Valet and Cashier to a
seasoned Director of Catering and Operations role.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Lauren led the charge as Project Manager with a scratch crisis relief team to distribute 500,000 pounds of food throughout the Southwest region of the United States funded by the USDA.
Upon the completion of the project, she was convinced to address food insecurities plaguing our
communities and launched Texas Green Bee.
The Ignited Spark:
During her childhood, Lauren frequently visited her extended family on their homestead farms where they lived a true farm-to-table lifestyle. On these getaways, she experienced one constant denominator -If you want to eat, you need to contribute. Contribution duties included harvesting fruit, tending to livestock, planting vegetables, turning compost, canning and
preserving, pickling and drying, … the list goes on. These duties became an ingrained expectation in her when she visited the homestead. So ingrained that it produced a rewarding mindset in the true value of hard work and the importance of knowing where her food came from. Lauren discovered how interconnected the homestead ecosystem is and the dependency
each component has over the other. When a system has a sustainable and regenerative cycle, human intervention is minimal. Any outside commercially produced products (fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides) are never needed and are non-existent on these homesteads of her family’s past. She was amazed that everyone in the rural area built their home this way on top of working a full time job to pay their mortgages. These were normal carried traditions from the generations before them. When she would travel back to the city… she would immediately fall back into our routines of big box grocery stores to source our food that was grown, harvested,
processed, and packaged thousands of miles away from where we lived. The flavors never compared to that homegrown ripeness, let alone the negative carbon footprint that was left behind on the city. She began to think, why can’t we establish urban homesteads?
The Growing Spark
The spark grew, but lay dormant until the COVID-19 food relief project for the USDA began. Lauren noted major distribution issues, starving families denied ready to go commodities and the vast amounts of politics that inhibited certain demographics of
communities not being fed and left to fend for themselves. Food was forced to travel from opposite ends of the country to feed the southwestern states… but we had local farmland. Why were we forced to not use them as a resource? The spark grew to an ember that brewed inside of her as she pondered this question. She knew that this was not how we should be taking care of our communities. She knew, with San Antonio being a heavily populated city, a change had to happen in our local urban settings and surrounding rural farmlands that was not happening fast or sustainably enough. With these observations, she channels the energies of the company to update and educate current community-serving organizations such as major food banks, small food pantries, restaurants, grocery stores, and public education systems. Our community needs to learn how to take charge of their own food security by reconnecting with homesteading principles; something that is second nature to Lauren.
Upon the completion of the USDA project, Lauren set her sights on relearning the homestead farming industry under an internship with Sylvain and Sarah Clavieres of Talking Tree Farm. For a year, Lauren threw herself into their farm and soaked up as much knowledge as she could using permaculture methods. During this time, the Texas Green Bee concept was refined. Ideas and creative project based learning agendas began to bloom and the fire was ignited.
Texas Green Bee Today
You can find Lauren always covered in dirt and planning her next adventure with her two feisty boys, Cyrus and Augustus. They spend their free time tending to their apartment’s micro patio garden and indoor hydroponic system, competing in outdoor sports together, and foraging for seasonal produce and medicinal herbs along the many nature trails located in San Antonio, TX. Her goal is to pass her knowledge on to her boys and connected communities so that they can live a secure, happy, and fruitful life.