farm tour: Johnson’s Backyard Garden 3/6

Johnson’s Backyard Garden Offers Farm-Grown Heirloom Vegetable Transplants

Date: March 6th
Time: 10am – Noon
Location: Johnson’s Backyard Garden

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!

Please RSVP to to coordinate ticket purchase.

slow session: sustainable sourcing, 3/4

Join us March 4th at Flatbed Press for our Slow Food session on Sustainable Sourcing. The event will be a unique opportunity to start an ongoing community dialog about sourcing and to build relationships that will link us together as a food community. The session will be moderated with a panel of three local food industry professionals: a farmer, a chef, and a buyer/forager.

** sustainable sourcing resource notes from the Slow Session **

Date: Thursday, March 4th
Time: 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Flatbed Press, 2830 East Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Austin, TX 78702

We have all seen it slipping more and more into the menus of Austin’s local restaurants. You can usually spot those small words, “local” in the description of the item, but what does it mean? Was every ounce of your tender buffalo steak, braised greens and roasted potatoes from the farm or was it merely the parsley on top? Is the big restaurant trend for local sourcing a fad that chefs can easily whip up, or does it require a complete shift in the running of the kitchen? Moreover, what does local mean, and does it guarantee that the food is grown in a sustainable manner?

Join us March 4th at Flatbed Press for our Slow Food session on Sustainable Sourcing. The event will be a unique opportunity to start an ongoing community dialog about sourcing and to build relationships that will link us together as a food community. The session will be moderated with a panel of three local food industry professionals: a farmer, a chef, and a buyer/forager. Please bring your questions and if you like, a dish to share, because we might not all be foragers but we are definitely all eaters!

About the Panel

Buyer/Forager: Valerie Broussard
A Louisiana native, Valerie spent 11 years in New York City as a recipe tester, chef, food stylist, and writer. She moved to Austin following a year abroad in Parma, Italy where she completed an MA in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. She is currently the Organic Food Coordinator at Barr Mansion and volunteers as Slow Food Austin’s Biodiversity Chair.

Farmer: Erin Flynn
A writer and farmer, Erin and her husband Skip Connett run Green Gate Farms, a historic farm, eight miles east of downtown Austin. Erin is dedicated to connecting the community to local agriculture through their farm and events.

Chef: James Holmes, Owner/Executive Chef Olivia

Slow Session RSVP

slow food usa time for lunch campaign

Tens of thousands of citizens are calling for legislators to fully fund school lunch, strengthen nutrition standards and link schools to local farms when Congress updates the Child Nutrition Act this year. Slow Food USA is carrying out the Time for Lunch Campaign to raise awareness of the legislation and encourage Congress to get real food into schools. The Child Nutrition Act is likely to be reauthorized by Congress in “early 2010”. The Time for Lunch Campaign launched with a National Day of Action in 2009 that brought 20,000 people together at more than 300 “Eat-Ins” nationwide. We are strengthening our efforts nationally and locally as we approach the reauthorization day.  You can help out by getting involved in Central Texas.

If you’d like to get more involved, here are 2 easy steps you can take to create change.

  1. Emails to legislators: Simply visit, enter your contact information, and an email letter will automatically be sent to your representatives. You may personalize the email if you wish.
  2. Spread the word: After you contact your representatives through the Slow Food USA website, you will receive a thank you email that includes text to send to your personal network, asking people to contact their representatives. Please send this out to your email contacts so we can more people to take the same easy steps to contact their local representatives.

Please spread the word over Facebook and Twitter.

Follow the link for Facebook/Twitter on the Slow Flow USA website for tips:

More info on the national campaign through Slow Food USA is available here:

happy hour: fino 2/18

Our next, third thursday happy hour brings us to FINO. Enjoy tasty tapas from Executive Chef Jason Donoho & sip on a Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned from Bartender Bill Norris.

Space is limited! Please RSVP today!

FINO Restaurant Patio & Bar
2905 San Gabriel Suite 200
(one block east of Lamar on 29th)

Thursday, February 18th
5-7 PM

* A portion of the proceeds will benefit Slow Food Austin
** $15 per person for tapas tasting (cash preferred)
*** RSVP does not guarantee admission

Coming Soon: Boggy Creek Farm, Wink, Olivia & Green Gate Farms!

farm tour: Springdale Farm 4/10

Date: April 10th
Time: 10am – Noon
Location: Springdale Farm

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!

Please RSVP to to coordinate ticket purchase.

february slow session – broaden your horizons

Title: broaden your horizons
Location: zhi tea gallery
Description: Come join us on February 4th at 7:00 for our Slow Session with tea master Jeffery Lorien from Zhi Tea. Jeffery will enlighten and guide us on the through the world of tea varieties one sip at a time. By learning about the wisdom (Zhi) behind these teas you can turn the process of preparing your own teas into a daily ritual that will allow you to take a few moments to heighten your senses and to steep in the enjoyment that comes from your tasting experience. Discover why Jeffery has fallen in love with tea and don’t be surprised if you get hit with cupid’s tea arrow as well!
Start Time: 07:00
Date: 2010-02-04
End Time: 09:00


photos from january happy hour at cipollina

Huge thanks to all who came out to our first happy hour of 2010 at Cipollina Bistro last Thursday. We had a full house, sold out of all the wine and raised over $500 for Haitian relief efforts!

Thank you to Pioneer Wine for donating the amazing bottles of wine and, of course, to Cipollina for being such fantastic hosts. Next month’s happy hour will be at Fino. Stay tuned for details!

Check out the great photographs taken by one of our leadership team members – Marshall Wright of

slow food austin launches farm tours

slow food austin farm tour: yonder way farmSaturday, 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

december slow session – austin permaculture holiday potluck

Thursday, December 3
6:30pm – 10:30pm
Barr Mansion

Join Slow Food Austin and the Austin Permaculture Guild at the Barr Mansion, for a community potluck celebrating local food, and a presentation about Citizen Gardener, one of the best things to happen to Austin gardeners in a long time.

Got a dish for 6-8 that you’re proud of? Make it with local ingredients? Consider it your ticket to this potluck in the glass barn behind the Barr Mansion, a beautiful landmark event destination.

During the evening Austin Permaculture Guild will launch its latest class of certified permaculture graduates, and APG director Dick Pierce will present a slideshow about Citizen Gardener, a how-to-garden-in-Austin program.

For directions to Barr Mansion, visit

Happy Holidays!