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 Eat Local

Buying locally produced food has a number of benefits for both your family and the community at large.  For every spent dollar diverted from products imported into the area from afar to products produced locally means a $2 dollar economic benefit to the local region.

CSA Photo:  Fruits and Vegetables.  Photo by Keith Weller.Considering the continual need for human consumption, one of the greatest impacts you can make is in the realm of food.  The typical food product now travels more than 1400 miles from its production point before it ends up in your kitchen.  Not only does this require the use of enormous amounts of fuel, but the food simply can't be as fresh, and is usually harvested before it's completely ripe and flavorful.  Further, your economy suffers from sending locally earned income to other regions far and wide.

To re-localize food production a number of factors come into play -- first is the ability of the local area to produce the food items, meaning local farming and agricultural capability and, second, generating consumer demand for such products to assure the economic viability of the local industry.

We encourage members to eat "slow".  This term refers to locally produced, quality foods, preferably organic.  Central market, Whole Foods, Wheatsville Coop and other local grocery concerns stock some locally grown organic foods alongside imported foods in their produce departments.  Ask the grocer which one's are grown locally, and choose those.  Sadly, not many restaurants follow the "local is better" mantra.  Inquiries to wait-staff about whether their fare is locally grown will raise awareness in their kitchens.

Boggy Creek Farm market, AustinAlternatively, residents have numerous options to purchase their food directly from the growers, either through CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) or via numerous farmers markets located in the region.  To ensure the best flavor and nutritional value, these foods are harvested at their optimum stage of ripeness -- frequently within 24 hours of your receiving them.

Community Supported Agriculture arrangements (CSA's) are sort of like cooperatives.  The CSA creates a direct relationship between you and a local farm a partnership.  You buy one or more shares and the farm then directly supplies you with fresh produce at periodic times -- sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, usually seasonally, and so on.  A side benefit is that your family will learn to eat what is in season, to help prepare for the future.  Most CSA's offer organic foods.

Here is a website where you can find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food areas all over the country.  Here is a link to find garden seeds.

Below is a list of local CSA's to help you get started.  To the right is a listing of local (Austin area) farmers markets.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's)

Hairston Creek Farm
4300 County Rd. #335,
Burnet, (512) 756-8380
website email: hcf@moment.net Burnet County farmers Gary and Sara Rowland often participate in local farmers' markets, where their certified organic produce and Sara's homemade jams, jellies, and pestos are always in demand. They offer subscription shares for a season that runs from April through November for $25 per share.    

Oasis Gardens Community Farm
7651 Delwau Ln.,
Austin, (512) 386-7636
This certified organic-farm cooperative on Austin's far east side offers monthly subscription shares for $50. Shareholders commit to five hours of farm work and receive good exercise and radiantly healthy produce in the bargain. The workday is Sunday from 10am-1pm.

Milberg Farm
37 Opal Ln.,
Kyle, (512) 268-1433
Tim Miller operates a certified organic dryland farm where he's won regional awards for his water conservation techniques.  He offers subscription shares for seasonally available produce, preferably to families, which he will deliver within the Kyle area.  When crop abundance permits, he also sells at the Westlake Farmers Market.    

Johnson's Backyard Garden
1305 Holly Street
9515 Hergotz Lane (new location!)
Austin, TX 

Organic farm and CSA run by Brent and Beth Johnson (CSA deliveries for 2006 conclude at the end of July so they can relocate the farm to a much larger tract of land to support more members.-- will restart deliveries in early 2007.) Deliveries are made on Saturday afternoons and are available either weekly or bi-weekly. The delivery area is currently limited to the central Austin area. Contact them to see if they make deliveries to your neighborhood. If they are unable to deliver, boxes are available for pickup at their farm house. Requires monthly commitment. Four weekly deliveries are $100 and two bi-weekly deliveries are $50 per share. If you are going to be out of town they ask that you arrange for a friend/neighbor to pickup the box or alternatively we can provide the box to a local food bank. Boxes contain approximately 1 bushel of seasonal produce and usually consist of 10-15 items.

Colorado River Farms
18306 River Timber Drive
Garfield, TX 78617
512 787-0102
A small(2 acre) family farm on the Colorado River, a few miles east of Austin, Texas. We sell at the River Valley Farmer's Market in Bastrop Texas and are now accepting members for our CSA.

Tecolote Farms
Decker Lake Rd.
Manor, TX 78653
Certified organic farm near Webberville, 15 miles east of the capital. They grow over 150 varieties of vegetables, including heirlooms and heritage breeds. Produce is available from March through August to CSA subscribers, and often until October at the two large Austin Saturday farmers' markets. Does not sell at the markets or to CSA customers from Nov. thru Feb. Members pick up their shares at their doorsteps or neighborhood dropoff points. They are currently drawing new customers from their waiting list -- there is about a one-year wait. But if you would like them to add your name to their waiting list, please email (or call) with your name, address, and phone numbers. They deliver to the Central Austin area (roughly: north of 71, east of 360, south of 183, and most points east).

Green Leaf Organics - 512-398-5955
website  Local, chemical free produce delivered to your home or office weekly or bi-weekly in and around the Austin area! No contract required, various basket sizes available.  Included is a newsletter filled with recipes and storage tips. Organically grown flowers too. Free range eggs and grass-fed beef also available!

Rancho de la Chuparrosa --The Good Food Farm - 830-966-3600
website  San Antonio Area CSA. (Sabinal) Farm is chemical-free and pesticide-free. Antibiotic-free poultry. CSA members receive a weekly share of the vegetable harvest, and can choose options to include poultry, eggs and/or beef. Offering both full shares (approximately enough for a family of four) and half shares (approximately enough for two.)

Reena's Organics - (512) 841-5240
website  Organically produced grapefruits and oranges. (Austin)

HOMEsweetFARM - 979.251.9922
website  Sustainable Small Family Farm. (Brenham: located midway between Austin and Houston) Speacializing in naturally grown heirloom vegetables and herbs, GMO free. Offers CSA, and available in area Farmer's Markets.

Finca Pura Vida LLC - 979-224-6223
website Organic Fresh Seasonal Vegetables. (Fayetteville: located midway between Austin and Houston)  Growing certified Organic Vegetables of the season 12 months a year. Specializing in Heirloom varieties of Tomato, melon, Lettuce, Squash and just about everything. We also have Christmas Turkeys and chicken eggs all year round.

Commercial Farms:

Here are some local farms that cater to commercial establishments like restaurants and local stores:

Amador Farms - 512-858-7733
All-hydroponic produce from a farm near Dripping Springs!

Tecolote Farms
Decker Lake Rd.
Manor, TX 78653

These markets are in and around the Austin area.    

Boggy Creek Farms
3414 Lyons Road,
East Austin 78702 512/926-4650  website
Within biking distance from central Austin!
USDA Certified Organic
Freshly Harvested
Wednesdays (9-2) & Saturdays (9-2) Year-round!

Austin Farmers Market I
422 Guadalupe
Republic Square Park
Austin, TX
(512) 236-0074
Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

Austin Farmers Market II
1416 Montopolis Drive
Austin, TX 
(512) 972-6230
Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

Austin Farmers Market III
5405 Pleasant Valley
Austin, TX
(512) 326-2323
June - September
Wednesday, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

Austin Farmers Market IV
7651 Delwau Lane/Oasis Garden
Austin, TX
(512) 386-7636
All year round
Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Austin Farmers Market V
11713 Jollyville Road
American Cultural Center
Austin, TX
(512) 267-2785
March - December
Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

Austin Farmers Market VI
412 Cornell at East 5th Street Plaza Saltillo
Austin, TX
(512) 263-0074
April - June
Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Austin Farmers Market VII
18649 FM 1431/The Plaza in Jonestown
Austin, TX
(512) 236-2785
March - December
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m

South Austin Farmers Market
2910 South Congress
Austin, TX
Contact:  Anthony Piccola
(512) 281-4712
E-mail: p2organic@att.net
Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

Sunset Valley Farmers Market
2300 Jones Road
Austin, TX
(512) 280-1976
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  

Travis County Farmers Market
6701 Burnet Road
Austin, TX
(512) 454-1002
E-mail: pagwcpa@aol.com
8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

River Valley Farmers Market
1308 Chestnut Street
Bastrop, TX  78602
Contact:  Bill Patrick
(512) 303-6793
E-mail: onemanranch@mindspring.com
Friday, 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

Belton Farmers Market
Central and Penelope
Belton, TX
(254) 778-2104
Saturday, 7:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. 

San Marcos Farmers Market
104 South CM Allen Parkway
San Marcos, TX
(830) 935-3159
E-mail:  sanmarcosfarmersmarket

Tuesday, 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
WIC Coupons

Wimberly Farmers Market I
FM 2325, Johnson Field
Lions Club Parking Lot #1
Wimberly, TX
(512) 420-4475
E-mail: amadorfarms@aol.com
Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.