We support Austin Urban Farms by hausbarfarmsatx

The whole family is getting into the act! Kai loves #austinurbanfarms #austinurbanfarmday

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We support Austin Urban Farms by mayziebird

Support for our urban farms is crucial today. We ask you show your support today by hash tagging #austinurbanfarms and showing up at city council at 4pm. The farms, your food, need your help! #atx #austin #urbanfarm #local #golocal #justgoshoot #vsco #vscocam #farmlife #farmdog #farmers

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We support Austin Urban Farms by in_gredients

We support #austinurbanfarms

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We support Austin Urban Farms by UndercoverMexi

We support Austin Urban Farms by springdalefarm

#austinurbanfarms #josephinehouse #saltandtime

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We support Austin Urban Farms by localsavour

Support #austinurbanfarms Today ~ wear green & register your support! #weargreen #supporturbanfarms

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We support Austin Urban Farms by austincooptour

Support Austin Urban Farm Day 4 pm Oct 17 at Austin City Hall #austinurbanfarms

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We support Austin Urban Farms by slowfoodaustin

We support Austin Urban Farms by springdalefarm

#austinurbanfarms

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We support Austin Urban Farms by eclecticclick

Wear green #austinurbanfarms

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We support Austin Urban Farms by springdalefarm

Good morning Austin! Happy Urban Farm Day. See you at 4:00 at City Hall. Wear green! #austinurbanfarms

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Austin Chronicle: Urban Farm Debate Intensifies

Anna Toon from The Austin Chronicle has written another thoughtful piece about the Urban Farm Code Update: Urban Farm Debate Intensifies

Eater story: Austin Chefs Support Imperiled Urban Farms

Thanks to Megan McCarron of Eater for this great piece about the chefs and restauraterus who support our farms.

Austin Chefs Support Imperiled Urban Farms

 

Sustainable Food Center Guest Editorial: Urban Farms are a catalyst for community growth

Guest editorial

By Ronda Rutledge, executive director, Sustainable Food Center

October 14, 2013

America’s food system is in crisis. Industrial agriculture has caused environmental degradation on a massive scale, and corporations pushing processed foods have encouraged widespread sickness and obesity in children and adults. Every effort should be made to return power over the food system to the community level as a step towards individual food sovereignty. Food sovereignty asserts the right of people to define their own food systems. Advocates of food sovereignty, like SFC, put the individuals who produce, distribute, and consume food at the center of decisions on food systems and policies, rather than the corporations and market institutions we believe have come to dominate the global food system.

On  October 17th, the Austin City Council will hear the zoning recommendations for urban farming within the city limits. Urban farm advocates and neighborhood organizations seeking to preserve quality of life in Austin neighborhoods have engaged in heated debate about land use and commercialization within our city core. At Sustainable Food Center, we believe that backyard, school, and community food gardens, as well as urban farms, serve as catalysts for community growth and benefit everyone, offering opportunities for economic development and neighborhood growth for property owners and residents where they currently live, as well as opportunities for independence from a broken food system.

For almost 40 years, Sustainable Food Center has worked in East Austin providing free seeds, compost, and training on organic food production so that families can feed themselves affordable, accessible, and healthy food; training community members to be promotoras (community health promoter) in their neighborhoods, providing cooking and nutrition education, and supporting small family farms in growing sustainable fruits and vegetables as well as humanely raised animals for the consumption of lean, clean protein.

We believe that the community’s inherent power and leadership is the foundation for a truly equitable and sustainable food system. These neighborhoods are where real change happens; it is here that we will see historic changes in what and how our community eats. This is an opportunity for our neighborhoods to lead our community in a return to the way indigenous communities have been feeding themselves from the beginning, before reliance on an industrial agriculture system which contributes to poverty, hunger, disease, and degradation of our natural resources.

SFC encourages urban farms to support their neighbors by actively pursuing opportunities to share affordable food as well as knowledge, seeds, and transplants with others who would like to learn how to grow food, becoming a resource for further neighborhood development. Many neighborhood members have long family histories of sustainable food production and have valuable information to share with one another.

In addition to opportunities for collective community growth, food production is a means for individual self-sufficiency and greater economic independence. Families who grow their own food have the opportunity to supplement their incomes and increase individual access to healthy, fresh food outside an agricultural system that encourages the consumption of unhealthy, processed, food-like substances.

SFC believes that access to healthy, affordable food is a basic human right. Food sovereignty argues that our current food system is broken-not just because of its ecological dangers but also from a fundamental lack of democracy in the food system. The food system works for a small elite who profit every day, while those of us on the consumer and producer ends have little to no control over the way the system functions or whether we can receive justice within it. Growing food ourselves is a necessary step towards achieving sovereignty.

Whether for the consumption by their own families and neighbors or for sale to the public, SFC supports the right of community members to grow food in all residential neighborhoods in Austin. This conversation between residents and city officials has been a welcome and valuable opportunity to explore where our values as a community lie.

SFC envisions a future where more community members grow their own food, where people in all neighborhoods have access to fresh, healthy food, and where everyone has the freedom and the opportunity to work towards greater food sovereignty and self-sufficiency. The wider our networks, the more common our concerns, and the less divided we stand, the more likely we are to achieve food self-reliance and community self-determination. We urge everyone to join together in taking back the power of food by planting the seeds for a stronger and more vibrant food system for all in our community

Pat Young Letter to the Editor Supporting Urban Farms

Thanks to Pat Young for this letter to the Statesman editors supporting urban farms.

From Austin American-Statesman, 10/16/13:young_letter to editor

Camp: Why Austin Should Protect Its Urban Farms

Thank you to Marla Camp, founding member of the Sustainable Food Policy Board and publisher of Edible Austin Magazine, for writing this thoughtful piece about why austin should protect its urban farms.

Marla_Camp_Why Austin Should Protect Its Urban Farms

Rozman: Urban farms essential link in sustainable food supply chain

Thanks to Ellen Rozman for this thoughtful opinion editorial to the Statesman supporting Austin’s Urban Farms!

Rozman_ Urban farms essential link in sustainable food supply… _ www.mystatesman

Austin chefs and restaurteurs send letter to council supporting the farms

A huge thanks to the 62 chefs and restaurateurs who signed a letter to the Austin City Council in support of Austin’s Urban Farms. We’re so proud of our amazing food community and happy to be part of it.

Thanks chefs!

Austin Urban Farms Restaurant letter with signatures

A poem from HausBar Farms neighbor Larry Collins

“Urban farms are historically and currently woven into the harmonious flow and seamless character of the eastside neighborhoods. It is a SERIOUS mistake to target them as a source of grit, aggressive commerce, or gentry at this point given their mission, model, or impact. Set your sites on other items requiring your talents; leave these urban farms to their gentle business.”