Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 6, 2014. A beautiful day of bluegrass, food and fun on a real working farm, benefiting local Texas farmers via the Growers Alliance of Central Texas’ medical emergency fund. To purchase tickets and get more details on the great line up of bands, visit www.farmgrassfest.com Advance tickets are a huge value – only $15 for 5 amazing bluegrass bands, in a comfortable rural setting on the beautiful Simmons Family Farm in Niederwald, Texas. Enjoy Spring, Local Farms, Bluegrass Music, and Fantastic Farmers Market Food!
Tecolote Farm joins forces with local farms and food businesses to host a meet and greet with Travis County Judge potential Andy Brown this Saturday, February 22, from 11:30 am -1 pm at Barr Mansion. Green Gate Farm, Edible Austin, Springdale Farm, Hausbar Farm, Barr Mansion, and so many other local sustainable and organic food businesses are supporting Andy Brown. Local, organic small plates will be served, and all are welcome. Please rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the Facebook event page: Let’s Talk Food with Andy Brown! We as farmers prefer to stay out of the political limelight, but sometimes it’s important to share what you know. In case you don’t remember Tecolote Farm’s battle over our groundwater loss from 2008-2010 with Travis County, read here. The Travis County Commissioners Court was generally friendly and open to finding a solution at the time, save for one Commissioner: Sarah Eckhardt. She is running for Travis County Judge now, and our experience with her character is such that we are strongly endorsing Andy Brown. In addition to the vindictive tone and lack of support or openness she demonstrated, there were issues with her policy, especially considering that she was viewed as THE sustainable/green commissioner. Read on to see what water lawyer Drew Miller, who represented us pro bono in the battle, summarizes about her unfriendly positions toward this local, organic, sustainable farm: “Sarah Eckhardt was steadfast and uncompromising in seeing to it the County was able to, with impunity, pump a neighboring organic farm’s long-producing well dry by locating the County’s new wells nearby and pumping the heck out of those wells – including by wasting that groundwater. She was steadfast and uncompromising in making sure that the County would hide behind the antiquated rule of capture, while hypocritically assailing that legal […]
Read Addie Broyles’ Food section cover story from April 11, 2012: After long battle over water, Tecolote Farm finally moving on! It has been a long four years since our wells dried up here at the original farm. Statesman writer Addie Broyles tells the tale of how we keep on keepin’ on.
For three years, we battled the County to find a solution to the loss of our groundwater caused by their pumping massive amounts of water up to East Metro Park’s playing fields and catch-and-release fishing ponds. They didn’t come through, thanks in large part to the obstructive response of Commissioner Eckhardt. So we went back to doing what farmers do best: figured it out ourselves. Solution #1 The new well (which we located via the research done by UT Professor Jack Sharp’s Hydrogeology class) is installed and operating. While producing half the volume of our previous well, and thus not enough pressure to directly supply our drip irrigation system, it is possible to irrigate with this groundwater through a storage tank and sand filter set-up. Farmers have always been known for innovation. Even though our groundwater was sucked out from under us by over-development in our area by subdivisions and County parks, we have survived! Solution #2 Looking ahead, we realize that our proximity to Austin (14 miles from the capitol building) and the fact that we live in a county where the then current Director of Natural Resources (Joe Gieselman) said, “The best and highest use of their land (Tecolote Farm) is no longer agricultural” makes our future not so certain. Farming is so important, and a county which goes on the record to discourage farmers from nurturing fertile soil to feed the local community is essentially pushing them out. As a matter of survival, we purchased a parcel of land another 14 miles the other way (east) in Bastrop County. We continue to farm Tecolote Farm proper, but our first crops went in the ground at the new land in Fall 2011. We lovingly call the new place the River Farm, as it was first coined by the […]