Filed under: Austin, events, food, go green, Heath + Beauty, lifestyle | Tags: Austin farmers markets, austin local foods, boggy creek farm, eating locally, farmers markets, fresh vegetables, local food, local produce, localvore, locavore, Sunset Valley Farmer's Market
I’m not proud of my indiscretion. In my defense (and I know you’ve heard this from other cheaters, but this time it’s true, I swear), Boggy Creek forced me to do it.
Just like any other adulterous tale, this one has a background story which will exlain how it was that I found myself caught up in the exotic offerings at the Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market this morning. And just like any other adulterous tale, it started with a late night out. A late night, and a few too many glasses of wine (okay, like 5 too many). At 7am I woke up feeling pretty chipper, all things considered. I should have just stayed awake & chipper, but instead I was pulled back into the warm comfort of my jersey knit winter sheets and didn’t rise again till 10am.
Getting to Boggy Creek at 10:30am is certain disaster. The market doesn’t open til 9, but you have to be there by 9:45 or there is nothing left. I knew this. I expected this. But I was still devastated to find only sweet potatoes, some turnips & 2 heads of broccoli left. There wasn’t even any cheese left in the fridge. This was post-apocolyptic market day. I would not have been surprised to see fights develop over the last heads of broccoli. Worst of all, the precious arugula which I have subsisted on since August was GONE. Totally gone. I almost cried.
So here’s the part where I fall off the wagon, so to speak: I proceeded to drive down south to the Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market. After my dismal taking at the farm I had pretty low expectations for the south market. I was positive that the veggie vultures had descended there too and had taken all the good stuff, just like they had at Boggy Creek. But at this point I was operating in survival mode – there was no way that I was going to make it through the week with one bunch of turnips, a head of broccoli & 5,000 sweet potatoes. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Turning into the Burger Center parking lot was like pulling into a Disney World for vegetable geeks. The place was hopping. There were cars as far as the eye could see, with a mountain range of white tent peaks on the horizon behind them. Not all of the tents turned out to be foodstuffs. Some vendors were selling soy candles, some had clothing, a few offered fruit trees or house plants. But there were plenty others who were selling food. Veggies, herbs, meats, breads…I filled my bags with more turnips, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli florets, salad greens, hydroponic tomatoes and a handful of oranges. My belly was pleased.
Returning home with the goods proved to be a bit disappointing, though. Like I said earlier, I feel like I’ve cheated on my friends at Boggy Creek. And I’m finding that I don’t trust the Sunset Valley farmers as much as I trust Carol Ann & Larry. I can’t see their farms, I’m not sure where they’re from, I don’t recognize their smiling faces. It’s just not as intimate as going to someone’s house to buy the food you can see growing in their backyard. So not only do I not trust the Sunset Valley farmers as much, but I don’t trust their veggies either. I washed them more thoroughly when I got home, and put some into individual baggies because I don’t trust them intermingling in my crisper bin. I know, this is a bit ridiculous & obsessive. I can’t really explain it, it’s just how I feel. (Hey, I’m a chick. I’m allowed to be irrational when I want to be).
Next weekend I will be basking in the sun on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta. My next chance at Boggy Creek won’t be till Valentine’s Day, when we’ll have a sweet reunion during our usual 9:15am visit. It will be the perfect day to put an end to all the cheating. I did enjoy my rendezvoux with Sunset Valley, but I now know that my heart belongs to you, Boggy Creek. Xo, Xo.
Filed under: events, food, go green, Heath + Beauty, lifestyle | Tags: austin farming, austin local foods, Eat Local Week 2008, Edible Austin, localvore, locavore, urban farming
I’m so psyched! I just happened to read about the Urban Farm bicycle tour in The Onion this weekend and discovered that there is a whole slew of events going on to support & celebrate local foods next week. Here are a few I’m planning to check out – for a full list of events see the Edible Austin website!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6:
Kick-off event at the downtown Austin Farmers’ Market with proclamation by the City of Austin, a 20-carrot salute and other special activities. 10 am. Free.
Urban Farm Bicycle Tour:
Discover some of Austin’s local food-producing gems on a family-friendly bicycle tour, including stops at Boggy Creek Farm, Zhi Tea, Rain Lily Farm, school and community gardens and more—featuring farm tours, sampling local food products and a chance to win fabulous prizes, including a fully- outfitted cruiser bicycle. Tour departs from Bicycle Sport Shop (South Lamar location), Austin Farmers’ Market (downtown) and Sunset Valley Farmers’ Market. Presented by Bicycle Sport Shop with additional sponsorship from Whole Foods Market, Katz Coffee, Maine Root, Yellow Bike Project, Capitol Metro, Blue Sky Soda and others. Click here for more information and to REGISTER or contact Leslie Luciano at for more information. Registration fee: $25 individual; $40 family (2 or more).
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9:
Drink Local Night — a celebration of locally made spirits featuring the ultimate Drink Local Cocktail Contest produced by Tipsy Texans David Alan and Joe Eifler, searching for the best seasonal cocktail from the region’s finest mixologists. Meet your local distillers and sample their favorite holiday season cocktails, hosted at the Monarch downtown. 6–9 pm. Cocktail contest starts at 7 pm. Suggested donation: $15.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12
Meet Your Local Brewers Happy Hour @ the Whip In Parlour Cafe & Market. Enjoy the fabulous tastes from our local breweries and meet their makers: Live Oak Brewing Company, (512)Brewing Company, Independence Brewing Co., Uncle Billy’s Brew, Real Ale Brewing Company, Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Shiner Beers. Special 10% discount offered on taste selections. Also enjoy the Indian subcontinental offerings from the Whip In menu, featuring Loncito’s Ranch grass-fed lamb and local produce for vegetarian and vegan varite. 3–7 pm. Suggested donation: $5.
Filed under: food, lifestyle | Tags: austin regional farming, austin urban farms, boggy creek farm, fresh produce, fried green tomatoes, japanese turnips, local cooking, local product, localvore, locavore
Saturday morning I drug my Halloween-weary butt out of bed and journeyed over to Boggy Creek to collect my food for the week. Even though I got there a little later than normal, I still came home with a bounty of new, fun goodies – including the Japanese turnips that I discovered last week (slightly nutty, distinct flavor that’s great in a stir-fry), and some yummy radishes that I hadn’t seen available at the market yet. With the winter season fast approaching, I decided to ask the farm helpers what I should be expecting to bring home from market in the colder months. Much to my surprise (and relief), they told me that we’re just now getting into the plentiful season, and that fun veggies like broccoli & spinach are right around the corner! EEEeeeegads, I can’t wait! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that veggies could be aplenty during winter.
One of the unusual veggies I came home with this Saturday was green tomatoes. I’d never had fried green tomatoes, and I don’t like to cook, so I’m not sure what possessed me to buy them. I was pretty sure that the tomatoes would rot in my fridge before I ever took interest in figuring out how to prepare them. But lo and behold, tonight I made fried green tomatoes. And they were darn yummy, if I do say so myself.
The recipe was quite simple, and if I were to make them again I think I might put some melted mozzerella on top. Below are some pics of my experiment!
Filed under: food, go green, Heath + Beauty, lifestyle, movies | Tags: farms, food culture, food independence, greenhorns documentary, local food, localvore, locavore, regional farming, urban farming, young farmers
In the past few months I’ve taken a bigger interest in regional farming & local eating (a quick search of this blog would probably turn up quite a few posts on the topic).
This afternoon I came across a documentary that I absolutely can’t wait to watch. It’s called “Greenhorns” and profiles young farmers across the U.S. who are leading a resurgence of local small farms. Why is this remarkable? Because for the past few decades, small farms have been drained of their youth as children move to the suburbs & cities to find office jobs, discouraged by the sinking value of good, local food in our economy.
With the energy crisis looming and much talk of independence from foreign oil, there is a similar culture that is rising in the food industry: independence from foreign foods & grocery store produce. More and more young people are returning to an agricultural focus, and there is thought that this trend is going to continue to grow in the coming years, to a point where it will be common to have a backyard garden.