What Now? FARFA Lobby Days/Green Gate Farms CSA Week 9 of 10

Newsletter
April 3, 2021

Announcement:

The crop losses from winter storm Uri means our Spring CSA must start two weeks later than planned.

Our Spring CSA will now begin March 31 for a 10-week season, instead of the 12 weeks we usually do. If you have already signed up for the Spring CSA you will receive a separate email about options. If you haven’t signed up for the Spring CSA yet, what are you waiting for? Invest in your local farmer here: here!

Farm News:

Help Support Local Farmers The Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is raising money to help farmers regroup from the artic blast that wiped out much of our fields. To donate and learn more, follow this link!

Spring CSAs for Veggies and Flowers Sign up has begun, don’t dally! https://greengatefarms.net/shop

Flower Power Workshares: March is here and so is the opportunity to learn how to grow organic cut flowers. Join Farmer Erin at both farms; shifts available Wed and Saturday mornings. See www.greengatefarms.net

Spring Veggie Workshares: Help is needed as we recover from the storm and begin planting for spring and summer. This is a great opportunity to learn how to grow organic veggies and flowers. Follow this link to apply!

We’re hiring! Seeking a farm manager and seasonal workers. See www.greengatefarms.net

  • Local pecans for sale! Our neighbor has shelled pecans from her east Austin trees. Delicious! $9.50/lb Message us at (512)988-9191 to purchase; pickup at farm Saturdays, 10-12.

Green Gate’s Artists in Residence:

Tune in to hear our Artists in ResidenceBuffalo Gals – play live from our River Farm Tiny House, Wednesdays at 6:30 on Facebook here!

Be sure to give Melissa Carper and Buffalo Gals on Spotify too! Their talent will amaze you… one of our favorite songs is “Makin’ Memories,” give it a listen with your beau!

What Next?

By Farmer Erin

February was a month of firsts — it began with record breaking highs, followed by Arctic storm Uri, a historic polar vortex that broke or matched 50-year records for snow and freezing temperatures.

It was also the first time that the majority of our volunteers walked to our eastside farm to help out. They left their Tiny Houses to spend a few hours with us as we inventoried the storm damage and started over. Though most volunteers had no gardening experience, they helped pull back tarps, carefully removed wet row cover, culled dead plants, planted in the greenhouse and prepped our remaining veggies for our CSA customers.

What they lacked in skills was more than made up for by their enthusiasm, and caring concern. And after a week of snow, ice and anxiety — worrying that our farm and others had been wiped out — their emotional support was as important as the extra hands.

Currently, our agrihood neighbors are among the lucky few. For most people, it wasn’t until they faced empty grocery store shelves that they may have considered local food production an essential service.

At this point, it’s easy to devolve into finger-pointing and frustration about multiple broken systems (food, electricity, water, leadership, etc.), but I encourage you to leapfrog over this broken heap and take a page from the book “From What If to What Next”, written by Rob Hopkins (https://www.robhopkins.net/).

Green Gate Farms had the pleasure of hosting a Hopkins presentation in 2006 when he was touring the country about Transition Towns. He is on a mission to bolster imagination about what the future can be. He has got me thinking that I’d love to live in community that:

  • encourages food growing and other sustainability skills,
  • ensures that farmland/waterways are vibrant and protected, and
  • provides essential services for all.

A first step is: what if Bastrop or Austin could feed itself? What would that look like? My roadmap would include:

Organic Growing River Corridors — Create a green ribbon of sustainable growers on the fertile bends of the Colorado River. This Round-up-free zone will feed Central Texas and serve as a vital environmental buffer ensuring clean water.

Sustainability Centers at Urban Farms - Create demonstration sites at urban farms so visitors can experience and learn about sustainable systems — how to grow food, catch water, build an insulated home, harness solar, work together on neighborhood resiliency projects,…

Protected Prime Farmland — Create policies so development does not continue to devour prime farmland. Here are some examples of how it has worked around the country: https://sustainablecitycode.org/brief/subdivision-set-asides-for-agricultural-farmland-2/

Regional Farmer Councils - Land use experts — urban planners, developers, politicians and others — consult with local sustainable growers to ensure their plans support food-growing and facilitate farmer and community-led agrihoods.

What is your vision for the future?

This week you have an opportunity to share your vision and put a megaphone to your concerns. One of my favorite events is happening virtually this week: The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is hosting its annual Virtual “Agtivism” Days, March 2-3. Because the Texas legislature meets every other year, this is a rare opportunity to participate in a coordinated advocacy effort by speaking to as many legislative offices as possible. To learn more, visit here!

Winter CSA - Week 9 Veggie Share

  1. Baby Cabbage OR Broccoli
  2. Collard Greens
  3. Green Onions
  4. Dried Bird Peppers
  5. Beets
  6. Braising Greens Mix
  7. Lettuce

Food and Flower Snapshot

  • Veggie CSA Winter season, 10 weeks: January 4th - March 10th. $25 each week, prorated.
  • 5 pick-up locations, Wed/Sat; no home deliveries
  • Flower CSA shares available by month beginning in April or join for 12-week season (April, May, June). $20 per week, prorated.
  • Volunteers welcome at both farms. More information on our website.
  • CSA shares still available – tell your pals!
  • Got a question about your CSA share? Contact your Community Organizer, the volunteer who manages your pickup site and handles any issues that might arise.
  • Additional vegetables, herbs, flowers and specialty items (e.g., pickled okra, plants for your garden, etc.) posted every Wednesday on Green Gate’s private Facebook page; touchless pickup at our intown farm is on Saturdays, 10-noon. (8310 Canoga Ave., Austin 78724)

Recipes From Kalina:

Chili Oil Recipe - Use the dried bird peppers to make your own chili oil!

Simple Braised Greens - Use this simple recipe to enjoy your braising greens mix while these hearty greens are still in season!



Braised Greens Recipe - NYT Cooking


Chicken stock, white wine and red pepper flakes add flavor to this side dish that can be made with whatever hearty green is in season.



Beet Salad Recipe with Feta and Pistachios - Dress up your beets with this delicious and colorful beet salad!



Beet Salad Recipe with Feta and Pistachios | Feasting At Home


A festive & delicious Beet Salad w/ Feta and Pistachios in a simple Citrus Dressing, perfect for gatherings!



What It Means To Plant A Tree
Essays
October 4, 2021
Farmer Skip expands on recent climate news and what we must do as a collective to respond.