Is pastured meat different? Better? More flavorful? And if so, why? Slow Food Austin is going to visit area expert livestock farmers Jim and Kay Richardson to find out.
The Richardson family has been farming for generations. On their Rockdale farm Jim and Kay Richardson raise wholesome meats in time-tested natural ways, grinding the corn grown on-farm for their pigs, raising their beef cattle solely on grass, pasturing chickens for eggs and broilers, and producing all-natural turkeys for area holiday tables.
October’s cooler weather is perfect for savoring slow-roasted meats, and high time to reserve your holiday turkey! Tour participants will redeem their $20 tickets at the farm for a selection of the Richardson’s natural pastured meats, and we’ll see the farm and have plenty of opportunity to ask our hosts about their production methods and how best to cook their meat. Join us October 24 from 10-1.
The heat of summer is nearly over and the best way to enjoy Austin’s and Central Texas’ blissfully cool fall weather is to grow a vegetable garden. The time is right to garden without the summer heat and endless watering, fewer bugs and less potential for diseases. If you haven’t had a central Texas fall garden you’re in for a great surprise. And what is more inspiring than steamy greenhouses full of young plants and potential?
On October 2, 2010 from 10:00am until 1:00pm, Slow Food will tour the source of most of the organic vegetable and herb plants at your local garden centers – Gabriel Valley Farms is located at 440 Old Highway 29 East, Georgetown, TX 78626. Gabriel Valley Farms is one of the Austin Area’s Largest Organic Vegetable Nurseries and after your tour you are sure to be inspired to plant your own Fall Veggie Garden! Gabriel Valley also supplies the wildly popular spring plant sale at Sunshine Community Gardens.
We’ll tour the property and owner Cathy will give us insider gardening tips for fall success. It’s not too late to start a garden full of broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, herbs and other homegrown goodness for fall comfort meals and holiday tables!
Date: June 6th
Time: 12:30 – 2:30pm
Location: Green Gate Farms
Tickets: $16 (includes farm produce)
Skip Connett and Erin Flynn have become local farming stalwarts in the four short years since they moved into the historic Bergstrom farmstead and launched their CSA (community-supported-agriculture) farm, just off Decker Lane. “We’ve dedicated the farm to healthy food, and community,” explains Erin. The couple hosts a kaleidoscope of community events and kid-friendly activities, and collaborates with other farmers to bring pastured beef, pork and dairy to their Austin customers. And this summer, Green Gate will offer Austin’s first kid’s farm camp!
Slow Food Austin’s tour of Green Gate will be family-focused and kid friendly. Meet 400-lb. pigs, pet baby goats, see this spring’s crops going gang-busters, collect eggs, learn about worm composting, and take home an equal value of farm-grown vegetables in exchange for your ticket. Pastured pork, chicken and beef will also be available to purchase.
Slow Food Austin is supporting a farm tour at Coyote Creek Farm/Texas Best Organic Feed Mill in Elgin.
This tour is a fundraiser for the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA) and therefore there are no take-home food items; instead, you’ll take home a wealth of information about the hardworking people who are the infrastructure necessary for our vibrant local agriculture system. Proceeds go to support TOFGA programming.
The tour will be led by mill owner and farmer Jerry Cunningham, and TOFGA President Sue Beckwith. Tickets are $10; proceeds go to TOFGA.
Date: March 27th
Time: 11am – 2pm
Location: Stryk Dairy
You’re really from somewhere when you live on a road named after your family. Bob Stryk’s grandfather was running the family dairy in Schulenberg before industrialization drove all the small Texas dairies out of business. With true farmer innovation, Bob and Darlene Stryk have found the niche direct markets that enable them to continue this tradition and milk their Jerseys on a small, intimate scale. The Stryks offer raw milk to a small but growing and passionate group of locals, and they have built a loyal clientele for their own hand-crafted cheese, including a traditional Czech specialty, ‘koch kase.’
Raw milk has been in and out of the news with increasing frequency. The City of Austin is considering passing an ordinance allowing its sale within city limits, in response to federal and state regulatory pressures to stifle it. Bob and Darlene have a few things to say on the subject, naturally. Come out to the dairy, meet the herd, taste the milk, and decide for yourself. Participants will take home a selection of the dairy’s products. Limited spaces will fill fast!
Slow Food USA maintains the Ark of Taste, a catalog of historically and culturally important foods, to encourage their continued enjoyment. Now Slow Food Austin invites you to join them on a Farm Foraging Tour of Johnson’s Backyard Garden, a certified-organic produce farm and greenhouse operation. Tour participants will receive farm-grown Ark of Taste vegetable transplants to grow in their own Backyard Gardens! Get a jump start on that spring garden!
From its humble beginning on East Holly Street, Johnson’s Backyard Garden has outgrown Brenton and Beth Johnson’s backyard and become the largest member-subscription farm in the southern U.S. – right here on the near-east side of Austin, Texas.
Now the Johnsons and Slow Food Austin will help you grow your own, plus tell you a little bit about their phenomenal growth. How have they done this? And why is this growth good for you, Austin Locavore? Limited spaces will fill fast!
Local farms come in all sizes, big and little. The new buzz words – “spin” farming, urban farming, “pocket” farming – are embodied in Springdale Farm, a 78702 4.8-acre patch cultivated by Paula and Glenn Foore. The couple has rescued a little bit more of Austin’s fertile river bottom from impervious surface and runs the city’s newest community-supported agriculture (CSA) operation. Tour attendees will learn how the couple stopped dreaming and started practicing their brand of “sustainable urban farming,” right here in Austin. Attendees will receive a box share of spring vegetables featuring fresh herbs. Limited spaces will fill fast!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
11am – 2pm
Yonder Way Farm
Tickets: $25 single/$40 couple/family (includes sampling of farm product (i.e. meat, produce, etc.)
Slow Food Austin (SFA) Farm Tours offer a signature opportunity to forage food items directly from area farms, in the context of an informative tour showing how and where the items were grown or produced, and introducing the people that produce them.
Goals of Tours:
* Increase understanding of the contributions area farmers make to our local food community
* Offer opportunities to sample local foods
* Increase understanding of Slow Food Austin’s goals to promote our local food culture and encourage conscious and appreciative enjoyment of it
* If possible, provide food for thought – novel discussion topics and angles on local farming
SFA is launching our farm tours with a bang – come with us on January 16 to meet Jason Kramer of Yonder Way Farm, an ambitious and exciting operation along the lines of Joel Salatin’s pastured salad bar beef farm, Polyface. Jason raises pastured pork, beef, poultry and eggs, and is completing construction of an on-farm commercial kitchen from which he plans to serve barbecued pork, sausages and other eatables. In the best farming tradition of cooperation, Jason also offers organic produce and milk from two other neighboring farms.
Yonder Way Farm [directions]
5500 Hwy 105
Brenham, TX 77833 (1 hour 45 min from Austin)
Tickets are SOLD OUT.
The tour carpool will leave Austin at 9am on January 16 (depature location TBD). Expect to return to Austin by 5pm
For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.