support time for lunch & child nutrition act

Senator Blanche Lincoln has introduced a new version of the Child Nutrition Act.

While it includes stronger nutrition standards and some support for Farm to School initiatives, it only increases funding for Child Nutrition Programs by $500 million per year, which is half the funding President Obama has proposed, and much less than what Slow Food USA has advocated for.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will begin reviewing the bill this Wednesday, March 24th. Our very own Senator Cornyn is a member of the committee, so it’s critical he knows our position!

Please take a moment today to call Senator Cornyn’s DC office at (202) 224-2934 and ask him to support:
Helping schools serve healthier food by making the full investment of $1 billion per year for child nutrition programs – including $50 million for Farm to School programs.

More info is available at the Slow Food USA Time for Lunch website.

Calling Senator John Cornyn’s office in D.C.

Key messages to get across:

I’m asking Senator Cornyn to help schools serve healthier food by investing $1 billion per year in Child Nutrition programs.?
Please include $50 million over five years to support Farm to School programs, which link schools to local farms and help the local economy.

Phone number for Senator Cornyn: 202-224-2934

When the receptionist answers, say you’re a constituent (“I live in Austin”) and ask to speak with the staff member who works on child nutrition.

When you get through to the child nutrition staff member, say your name, where you’re from and whom you represent. If you’re calling on behalf of a Slow Food chapter, mention the size of your membership and mailing list – and feel free to mention that our network has sent 725 emails to Cornyn’s office in the last few weeks.

Ask the staff member if the Senator supports:

Helping schools serve healthier food by making the full $1 billion investment in Child Nutrition. ?
Including $50 million to support Farm to School programs, which link schools to local farms and help the local economy.

If the Senator’s position is the same as yours, thank the staff member. If it’s not, explain why you believe in healthy school food. Offer to send the staff member more information and encourage the legislator to re-consider the issue.

If the staff member wants more information, ask for his/her email address and follow up immediately. This is a great opportunity to become someone on whom the staff relies for information.

If you don’t get through to anyone and you’re leaving a voicemail, state your name and phone number, where you’re from and whom you represent. Encourage the Senator to support our policy goals (listed above).

That’s all. Please report back on how it goes. Thank you!

happy hour: olivia, 4/15

Olivia
2043 S. Lamar
Austin, TX 78704

Date: Thursday, April 15
Time: 5:00-7:00pm

Please join us at our April Happy Hour at Olivia Restaurant, one of Bon Appetit’s top ten new restaurants in America in 2009, where chef James Holmes will be serving up delicious local bites.

RSVP to Karla Loeb. Space is limited.
* A portion of the proceeds will benefit Slow Food Austin

slow session: sprouts

Know It-Grow It
SPROUTS
Peaking their way above the ground,
They are all around,
Shouting, “Spring has come,” have some fun,
Show your face, in slow pace,
To cultivate a new taste,
Sprouts.

Date: Thursday, April 1st
Time: 7pm-8:30 pm
Location: Sunset Valley City Hall
3205 Jones Road
Sunset Valley, TX 78745

Spring on out of your house Thursday, April 1st at 7pm for a Slow Session on Sprouts. Join us as we learn about this simple superfood from PermaCulture extraordinaire, Doc JODY. In addition to expanding our knowledge of sprouts, Doc JODY will show us how to grow organic sprouts and delight us with some of her original recipes. So come on out, propagate a new friendship or encourage a buddy to come along. Also, there will be a special give away to whoever brings the most creative dish with sprouts to share – so start conjuring up those recipes!

Slow Session RSVP

farm tour: Stryk Dairy/Strykly Cheese 3/27

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!

Please RSVP to education@slowfoodaustin.org to coordinate ticket purchase.

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 education@slowfoodaustin.org 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
Directions

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 http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch/, 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:
http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch-share_it#facebook

More info on the national campaign through Slow Food USA is available here:
http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch/

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 education@slowfoodaustin.org to coordinate ticket purchase.