Fall 2014 Austin Urban Farm Happenings

Fall has finally arrived, and the scenery is changing at the urban farms.  We are all excited about the new crops starting to become available, after that Summer to Fall transition where pickings are slim.  Fall is also the time for gatherings again, as the weather has become more enjoyable to be outside.

Rain Lily Farm

“Present Company returns this Fall to Rain Lily Farm with Shakespeare’s classic tale of love, magic, and one helluva hurricane…Join us October 9th-November 1st, Thursday through Saturday evenings for a night of Shakespeare under the stars and pecan trees at 914 Shady Lane in East Austin. Promoting the philosophy of accessible & immediate art, Shakespeare on the Farm is a FREE event, but a suggested donation of $10-$20 helps support the event and the artists that create it…
Seating and music begins nightly at 6:30 pm and street parking is available. Show begins around 7:30. Early arrival, blankets and picnics, and a sense of adventure encouraged! Snacks and donation-based cocktails will be available from our sponsors, Dripping Springs Vodka, Hops & Grains Brewing, and Farmhouse Delivery. Performances are suitable for all-ages, and there will be a FREE kids’ workshop Saturday October 25th before the show–
Photo: Present Company returns this Fall to Rain Lily Farm with Shakespeare's classic tale of love, magic, and one helluva hurricane… </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Join us October 9th-November 1st, Thursday through Saturday evenings for a night of Shakespeare under the stars and pecan trees at 914 Shady Lane in East Austin.  Promoting the philosophy of accessible & immediate art, Shakespeare on the Farm is a FREE event, but a suggested donation of $10-$20 helps support the event and the artists that create it…<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Seating and music begins nightly at 6:30 pm and street parking is available. Show begins around 7:30.  Early arrival, blankets and picnics, and a sense of adventure encouraged!  Snacks and donation-based cocktails will be available from our sponsors, Dripping Springs Vodka, Hops & Grains Brewing, and Farmhouse Delivery.  Performances are suitable for all-ages, and there will be a FREE kids' workshop Saturday October 25th before the show--

HausBar Farms

Cooking Classes
thehomegrownrevival.weebly.com
Join Chef Sonya Cote’ this autumn as she teaches the basics and not-so-basic techniques of cooking within the season.  We will be taken on a Hausbar Farm Adventure Tour as key ingredients are harvested.  On the spacious outdoor kitchen “classroom”, we will learn about the fall season in central Texas and how to incorporate fresh, local ingredients in our daily meals.
With a focus on classic brunch recipes, Chef Sonya will take our senses on a ride as we get our hands moving, our tongues tasting, and the scent of Texas Fall lingering!
We will enjoy a complimentary, hand crafted Bloody Mary and enjoy sipping on exceptional mimosas.  Please bring your favorite champagne and sue to share!
For questions or more information, please contact Taylor Burge.  Taylor.mowrey@gmail.com
AND
So excited about the upcoming Austin Fermentation Festival this November! We’ll be hosting Sandor Katz for a meet and greet here at HausBar Farm. It’s like having food royalty at your house for a casual visit!

Austin Fermentation Festival 2014 | Texas Farmers Market
texasfarmersmarket.org
Download the press release as a .docx file here. 2014 AUSTIN FERMENTATION FESTIVAL WITH SANDOR KATZ November 15, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – Texas
Boggy Creek Farm
Green Corn Project! At Boggy Creek Farm!
The 16th Annual Fall Festival fundraiser: Sunday October 26th, 12pm to 4pm (gates close at 3)
Join us for great food/beverages from over thirty top local restaurants, live music on the front porch, cooking demonstrations on the back porch, silent auction in the farmstand and a general good time for all.
Purchase tickets ONLINE for $35 in advance at this link for directions, details, and ticket information: ($40 at the door)
http://www.greencornproject.org/2014-Fall-Festival
or at Boggy Creek Farm or Wheatsville Coop

Grow Locally, Cook Globally – 16th Annual Fall Festival benefiting Green Corn Project | Green…
AND

Nov 1st (Saturday, 9-1) and Nov 2nd (Sunday, 10-1) Historic Farm
House Tours!….Lots of history in the Boggy Creek Farm house, which
was built over the winter of 1840/1841….President Sam Houston ate
here Dec 24, 1841….and called the “food doings first rate.” The
tours are free, and include the 2012 Dog Trot house adjacent to the
back field. Let’s have some fun with history! Well-mannered children
are warmly invited. If you love old Austin history, this is for you!
Note: our laundry will be hidden in the white shed as there are no
closets in this old house!
Photo: Save the dates for the Historic Farm House Tours!  Nov 1st (Saturday, 9-1)  and Nov 2nd (Sunday, 10-1)....Lots of history in this house, which was built over the winter of 1840/1841....President Sam Houston ate here Dec 24, 1841....and called the "food doings first rate." The tours are free, and include the Dog Trot house adjacent to the back field. Let's  have some fun with history! Well-mannered children are warmly invited. If you love old Austin history, this is for you! Note: our laundry will be hidden in the white shed as there are no closets in this old house!
Springdale Farm
Springdale Farm Aid was an amazing success, thanks to so many of you who came out to support the farm.  Springdale continues to need your support!  From the farmers:
We were bumped from the Oct 14 Planning Commission agenda to October 28,  due to a technicality with the date that the public hearing notices were mailed out by the city.  Now it’s very important that we don’t have any more postponements. Please email Planning Commissioners and ask that they proceed with a vote on Oct 28, and for a vote “yes” to Springdale’s proposed zoning amendments.  Email addresses here:
City Council also needs to hear from you.  Please let our city leaders know how important Springdale Farm is to not only our food community, but our city at large as the farm provides a green space to gather, learn about food, and grow community.  Help us preserve the farm by asking city council to allow us to continue to host functions on the farm and NOT to delay taking action.  We will keep you posted on the upcoming meetings. For now, contact with city officials is All Important.  Thank you!
email city council AND our case managerheather.chaffin@austintexas.gov
Follow the updates and calls to action at the Springdale Farm website.
Thank you!

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
butternut

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

http://m.statesman.com/news/news/opinion/sayle-and-others-urban-farmers-try-to-be-good-neig/nby3j/

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!

URBAN FARM CODE UPDATE ON AGENDA 11/21/13 – NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

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.

http://i2.wp.com/thisbigcity.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/5BF_Metrics_poster.jpg

 

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!

 

IMG_0630-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

http://bit.ly/18W1XOS

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