Sustainability & Community
SOWING CommuniTY
Innovation + Persistence = Community Farming

Agrihood

Bringing people together through CSA memberships, camps, our farm stand, 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.


We envision a place where neighbors know each other and their farmers. A place that addresses the challenges of access to local food, nature and companionship.

Our agrihood journey began in earnest in 2015, when Roberts Resorts purchased the property where we had farmed in east Austin for nearly ten years. Rather than lose yet another farm to development, we proposed something new – a community of sustainable Tiny Houses around our farm.

Together, with Roberts Resorts, neighbors, customers, the City of Austin, TBG Landscaping, and consultants, Village Farm was born. This first-of-its-kind agrihood will eventually feature a four-acre farm around the historic Bergstrom farm site created in 1902. This new kind of community is a rare balance of old and new, and one you are welcome to join.

To tour a Tiny House contact Village Farms' Rebecca Powers, 512-339-3793.
For consulting or a presentation about farmer-led agrihoods, contact Green Gate Farms at info@greengatefarms.net.

Community Building
Farm-based education is at the heart of our farm. Whether it's camps for kids, performance space or teaching people how to grow food, we have partnered with our  neighbors to create an innovative space for all to enjoy.
Waste
Farmers who make compost or feed livestock need food waste, not only because it reduces costs but because it makes sense. Help your elected officials understand that food waste delivered to farmers, not to the landfill, is essential.
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, SXSW banners used for weed management, and much more!
Buildings
Our River Farm Solar Tiny House was made from two upcycled milk trucks, and our earthbag tool shed was made in collaboration with Architects for Humanity.
Water
Water conservation is essential and is why we use a mix of driptape irrigation, saved seed, donated leaves and wood chips, shade cloths, certified organic mulch paper, and more to make our operations as water efficient as possible.
Energy
We love our solar oven. No more hot kitchens. Everyone should get one! We've also constructed a solar-powered tiny house, water pump and continue to work toward our goal of a solar-powered farm.

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 Swedish 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 and support organizations engaged in meaningful work (like Black Women in Business)
  • 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
Our farm-to-table classes begin in the fields, where you learn how to choose the best herbs, flowers and vegetables for the meals we make in the farmhouse kitchen or in our sun oven. Stay tuned for classes on how to make the most of your CSA share, edible flowers, canning, bread making and more!
Cultivating Community
Community farms thrive when  neighbors get involved with programming. Our partners have included: chefs, Girl Scouts, Urban Bike Tours, Yoga instructors, Architects for Humanity, Little Helping Hands, and even dog trainers. We welcome your ideas!
Cultivating Farmers
Inspiring the next generation of farmers is what drives our farm. We believe the spectacularly beautiful Wilbarger Bend is an ideal site, where new and beginning farmers can thrive. A rare combination of abundant water, excellent soil, wildlife could make it"The Intervale Center"for Bastrop and Austin.

Farm-based Education

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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. Then there was drummer Matt Simon who did an excellent job managing 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.

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.

Sustainability

Our farm has focused on quality food production and building community since its founding in 2006. We believe the next step in this journey is creating agrihoods, communities designed by and for local farms and their supporters.  


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 community. Our historic farm in east Austin is becoming a place where residents can walk to the farm stand for freshly harvested foods from local farms, learn how to garden, and work together to live a mores sustainable lifestyle.

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 -- policymakers, developers, farmers -- to meet at Jim Hightower’s office to discuss how water shortages were impacting farmers, wrote article in Edible Austin, June 2008
  • Georgia Organics – Member, Conference Presenter and Marketing Consultant
  • Atlanta Local Food Initiative – Founding Member
Friends of the Farm

Some of Our Partnerships

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture
Georgia Organics
Austin Jewish Academy
Texas Medicinals
Sustainable Food Center
Black Women in Business
The Soup Peddler
Wheatsville