Sustainability & Community
SOWING CommuniTY
Long before we started New Farm Institute, an educational nonprofit organization, our farm has sought to provide what our neighbors need.

Community

Green Gate Farms, a certified organic community farm, was established by us (Skip Connett and Erin Flynn) in an under served neighborhood in east Austin in 2006.


Working off-farm jobs to fund our efforts, we restored a neglected historic farm site to create a community resource for neighbors of all incomes. Our vision is to cultivate healthy farms that feeds mind, body, and soul.


We do this by fostering communication between farmers, policy makers, neighbors, government officials, media, and others.

  • Run 100+-member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for vegetables, eggs, flowers and meat
  • Host events that generate income for organizations engaged in meaningful work
  • Sell produce to individuals of all incomes, restaurants, CSAs, and grocery stores
  • Operate weekly farm stand that accepts WIC/SNAP vouchers
  • Host field trips, camps and service learning opportunities for more than 1,000+ students each year
  • Train and manage full-time staff, interns, work shares, and weekly volunteers
Cultivating Food
We offer on-farm cooking classes, butchering lessons, specialty events, and workshops on everything from herb identification to flower picking to sun cooking. Check out our calendar to see upcoming food events.
Cultivating Community
We partner with chefs and food distributors, of course, but we have also worked with Girl Scouts of America, Urban Bike Tours, Yoga instructors, Architecture for Humanity, Little Helping Hands volunteer group, and even dog trainers. Everyone can get involved!
Cultivating Farmers
We offer children's classes and camps in our efforts to educate the next generation of farmers, as well as support for University of Texas student initiatives, gardening teacher courses, and adult classes.

Sustainability

Our farm has focused on quality food production since its founding in 2006. Your participation is needed as we expand our initiatives in Community-building Agrihoods.


We bring people together through CSA memberships, camps, farm stand and events has been excellent training for what we believe is the next step in community farming: creating agrihoods that are large enough to feed the people that live around them. Since 2015, our farm has collaborated with the City of Austin, developers, landscapers, residents and consultants to create a Tiny Home agrihood, the first-of-its-kind to serve neighbors and residents.

Creating and Strengthening Local Food Organizations

Whenever possible we work through existing organizations to improve access to organic food and improve working conditions for farmers.

  • New Farm Institute, creators, 2011 - GroACT (Growers Alliance of Central Texas) – Co-founders, 2010
  • Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Members, Speakers, Marchers
  • Texas Organic Agriculture Industry Advisory Board – Board Member
  • Slow Food Austin – Board Member
  • Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association – Board Member, Presenter
  • Edible Austin – Frequent Contributor to the quarterly magazine
  • Arranged water stakeholders to meet at Jim Hightower’s office (e.g., policymakers, developers, farmers) to write article about how water shortages were impacting farmers in Edible Austin, June 2008
  • Georgia Organics – Member, Conference Presenter and Marketing Consultant
  • Atlanta Local Food Initiative – Founding Member

Artist in Residence Program

Art and farming go together so well, which is why we’ve hosted everyone from painters to potters, Aztec dancers to African drummers.


Each artist enlivens the farm in their own way. Some artists leave a deep legacy. When permaculture expert, author of Deep Green and artist Jenny Nazak lived on the farm she created a free summer camp for underserved children and beautiful chalkboards that our farm stand uses today. Drummer Matt Simon gave us a much-needed respite when he took over the management of our River Farm for a couple of years.

Our long-term vision is to do more for artists, build a studio at the River Farm where they can teach, and a barn where they can perform (Arnofsky’s blue barn in Blanco and Pie Ranch are great inspiration). Until that dream is realized, we are launching Green Gate’s Artist in Residence Program beginning August 2020.

This year’s recipients are: the Buffalo Gals band, a musical duo of exceptionally talented folk singers and song writers, Melissa Carper and Rebecca Patek.

Melissa and Rebecca will be living at our River Farm, 2020-2021.

Rebecca Patek's debut album, "Come Up and Meet Me" won the 16th Independent Music Award for Best Bluegrass Album. We’ve had the pleasure of knowing Melissa Carper since her Carper Family Band performed at our Hootenanny in 2011. The distinctive, high-lonesome sound of the song Melissa wrote — “Old Sweet Home” — is a favorite of ours. You can take a listen (and purchase) their “Brand New Old-Time Songs” here.

Tune in every Wednesday night 6:30pm CST
Buffalo Gals Band are doing a live stream from our FB page!

Supporting performing artists is especially important now that venues are closed and tours are cancelled. You are encouraged to donate via their live stream. Thanks for all of your support!

Agrihood

Bringing people together through CSA memberships, camps, our farm stand, and events and community partnerships has been excellent training for what we believe is the next step in community farming: creating “agrihoods” that are large enough to feed the people that live around them.


A place where neighbors know each other and their farmers.

In 2015, when Roberts Resorts purchased the property where we had farmed in east Austin for nearly ten years, we proposed a new kind of development – a community of sustainable Tiny Houses around our farm. Together, with neighbors, customers, the City of Austin, TBG Landscaping, and consultants, we launched Village Farm, the first-of-its-kind agrihood.

Today, our historic four-acre farm is at the heart of a new kind of community, one you are welcome to join. To tour a Tiny House contact Rebecca Powers, 512-339-3793.

Community Building
We at the farm established the New Farm Institute to advance farm-based education initiatives. Since then, our farm has been seeking to provide what our neighbors need.
Waste
Farmers who make compost or feed livestock need food waste. Not only does it reduce costs, it makes sense. However, it can be difficult to transport. Help us make it easier by advising your elected officials to have food waste delivered to farmers, not to the landfill.
Repurposing
Everyone has far too much stuff, so we take pleasure in repurposing what others toss. Our dumpster diving has created a magic tree house, a guinea hog home, tarps, and much more!
Buildings
“Junk” can be recycled! Our River Farm Solar Tiny House was made from two up-cycled milk trucks. Other farm structures from recycled materials include brick floors, a walk-in cooler, and a storage shed made out of earthbags in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
Water
We use drought-tolerant seeds, drip irrigation technology,  donated leaves and wood chips, recycled greywater, shade cloths, and certified organic mulch paper to make our operations as water and energy efficient as possible.
Energy
We love our solar oven. No more hot kitchens. Everyone should get one! We also constructed a solar-powered pump and continue to work toward our goal of 100% solar power.
Friends of the Farm

Our Partnerships

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