Giving thanks (with a recipe!)

greens2Thanksgiving is just a day away — and our Austin urban farms are full of autumn’s bounty and even though it’s feeling wintry outside, all sorts of good things are growing and ready for your Thanksgiving feast: kale, cabbage, lettuces, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and potatoes!


Stop by your local urban farm on Wednesday to get fixings for Thursday!

Carol Ann from Boggy Creek Farm shares Two Easy Ways to Do Your Favorite Greens for Thanksgiving
(with some rules of course)


These are two simple preparations for greens that won’t make the cook scream in agony. He or she can even keep an eye on the football game that is the main event at any Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Salad: Chop the greens into non-strangling pieces. Put them in a salad bowl. Add an oil/vinaigrette or dressing of choice. Make sure every leaf has some dressing on it, or the first eaters will take all the oily ones and leave the un-anointed ones for the cook. Sprinkle with thinly sliced radishes, apples, or grated beets (but not all please,) and either feta cheese or Parmesan cheese (but not both.) A nice touch to the salad would be toasted nuts of your choice, the more the better. Warning: Cook should serve herself/himself first, or the football fans will take all the nuts, all the dressing and all the cheese, leaving the cook with only greens, grated beets, etc.
2. Saute: Chop the greens into non-strangling pieces. Pour fat of choice (butter, coconut oil, peanut oil — choose only ONE!) into a skillet. Add chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms, fruit, whatever. (You can choose ALL.) Saute over medium heat until chosen items are soft enough. Add the greens. Lower the heat. Saute until the greens are wilted. Warning: Don’t overcook or the greens will look ugly. Add whatever cheese is not already on the salad, or go vegan.
(Note: If the cook is jealous of the slugs piled up in front of the television, he/she can eliminate the “non-strangling” advisory in the recipes.)
– Carol Ann Sayle
Boggy Creek Farm

Boggy Creek Farm
Stand is open Wednesday and Saturday 8-1.
3414 Lyons Rd., Austin, TX 78702

Springdale Farm
Stand is open Wednesday and Saturday 9-1.
755 Springdale Rd., Austin, TX 78702

And in case you missed it - thanks again for your support last week – passing the update of the Urban Farm Ordinance was a victory because of you – take a look at what happened at City Hall last Thursday in this post, and check out this post on all the nitty gritty details of the ordinance.

The Nitty Gritty Details of the Urban Farm Ordinance

Here are some details of the new Urban Farm Ordinance:


Urban farms – The ordinance honors and maintains the ability for the urban farm use to be allowed “in every zoning district”. This aligns with the City of Austin’s goals delineated in Imagine Austin.

  • Market gardens, a new farm designation has been introduced to honor the small grower that in the past could grow vegetables on their property but couldn’t sell them directly to people from their property. In the past they were non-compliant.
  • Third party sales -Third party products should take up to no more than 20% of the farm stand’s sales area and be produced in the state of Texas.  Market Gardens cannot have a farm stand and can conduct sales out of sight of the general public on the property, and generate no more than three customer related trips per day an average.
  • Dwellings: Urban farms can have up to 2 dwellings on the property, which is an increase. Auxiliary structures should be allowed
  • Employees: 2 employees per acre of partial acre
  • Staff added: Additional use for Indoor Crop Production for CS zoning and above, for the purpose of raising and harvesting indoor tree, row or field crops on an agricultural or commercial basis, including packaging & processing.
  • Animal Raising and Processing: Raising fowl, rabbits and fish (aquaponics only) allowed. No processing or composting in single family use but can be allowed in commercial uses and other zoning categories. Animal harvesting has not been eliminated completely from City limits.
  •  Events – Urban farms in Single Family zones will have to apply for a Temporary Use Permits in order to be an outdoor entertainment and they are only allowed 6 a year.

Our victory was because of YOU.

photo 87_2Last night, we packed City Hall with supporters who stayed till the very end of the debate.  300 of us stayed till close to midnight to witness Austin City Council’s vote.

A few details of the final version of the Ordinance are below, but before we get to the policy, let’s consider the amazing groundswell of support that came together yesterday at City Hall.

The total amount of testimony from the public was 7 hours and 12 minutes.  An overwhelming 6 hours and 12 minutess of that time represented citizens signed up to support urban farms.

The folks that testified for urban farms were a diverse group of Austinites and urban farm advocates:

  • Farmers like Paula Foore of Springdale Farm
  • East Austin neighbor Julian Limon Fernandez and his conjunto band Los Texas Wranglers
  • Renowned food writer Ellen Sweets
  • The Natural Gardener John Dromgoole
  • and many more neighbors, students and members of the Austin culinary and food community like chef Paul Qui.
  • Judith McGeary also laid out the facts on how farms across the nation are disappearing, showing the necessary and vital function that urban farms play in our communities.
Some of the policy wins from the Ordinance passing last night include:
  • Urban farms are continuing to be permitted in every zoning district in Austin. lobby1
  • Legalized market gardens.  Before last night, it was illegal for residents with less than 1 acre to grow and sell on their property.  This is a win for small-scale food producers!
  • Urban farms can sell third-party goods (like milk, cheese, and protein) on their farm (using up to 20% of retail space), and the Ordinance makes it legal to sell cottage foods from urban farms!
  • Urban farms can now have up to 2 dwelling units on their property.

Let’s keep growing together – we still have great things to do!  If you have a second, please consider emailing or calling your city council members and thank them for continuing to support urban farms in Austin.

Also, in case you missed it – check out an editorial in the Austin American Stateman by Carol Ann Sayle  and Larry Butler of Boggy Creek Farm, Dorsey Barger and Susan Hausman of Hausbar Farms; Glenn and Paula Foore of Springdale Farm and Stephanie Scherzer and Kim Beal of Rain Lily Farm.

Op-Ed in the Statesman Today

Call to Action


Now’s the time.  This is the week!  We have a Call to Action:  Please write your city council members, even if you have done so in the past, and ask them to pass the Urban Farm Ordinance with no more delays.

Make this push early this week and join us at City Hall at 3:30 on Thursday to register* to show your support. Wear green! We hope to see you there!
And if you haven’t already, please join our list of public supporters by clicking the button above. Thank you!
*You can begin registering tomorrow 11/20/13 starting at 12:00 noon.  If you can’t be at City Hall on this Thursday, please considering registering your support for the Urban Farm Ordinance to pass.  Thank you!


The Update to the Urban Farm Code is back on the City Council’s Agenda, at #20/105, for next Thursday, 11/21/13.   We are asking our supporters to show up around 3:30, sign in to speak, or as a supporter IN FAVOR of the Code Update.  Wear green, so Council can see how many of us are ready for this to move forward.  It is likely, that PODER will ask for another extension, we need to show that the time is NOW to pass this ordinance.  Lets rally, folks!

If you can’t be at the council meeting, you can still sign up in support of the farms. The kiosks are located in the lobby of City Hall.

Great Chart Showing Many Benefits of Urban Farms

Urban agriculture’s benefits, put in a simple to read, evidence based chart.


Just click on the chart to expand.


Adobe Photoshop PDF


Andrea, a Boggy Creek Farm Employee of 18 years Has Something to Say

There have been some insinuations (by activist farm detractors) that our Urban Farms may not pay living wages to their employees.  The farm owners have also been likened to “plantation owners, sipping tea on their porches” while their laborers toiled in the fields.  Andrea, who has worked at Boggy Creek Farm for 18 years, has something she’d like to tell you.  Please click and watch!









Short Video by Stephanie Scherzer of Rain Lily Farm

Please watch this short YouTube video by Stephanie Scherzer of Rain Lily Farm. She did a great job of explaining the situation the Urban Farms find themselves in.  Currently the City Council vote is still set for November 21, 2013, however the requisite mediation has not yet occurred.  Please write your City Council members, asking that the vote on the Update to the Urban Farm Ordinance go forward on 11/21/13, as planned.

If this isn’t a clickable link, just copy and paste in your browser.  Thanks all, and stay tuned!

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