Please join us at Tecolote Farm on Saturday, March 18, 2017, for a Volunteer Work Day. Following the Presidents’ Day tornado here, we not only have weeding and hoeing to do: there is a lot of debris to pick up, piles to burn or put through the wood-chipper, trash to find and pick up, and community to gather and count our many blessings. Hope you can join us! We’ll begin the day with a Blessing of the Fields at 8:30 am 8:30 AM Rogation (farm & crop blessing) Procession 9:00-1:00 Open Work Day March 18, 2017 First 30 minutes is farm tour/ education. Make sure all volunteers have needed equipment to go out into the field (water, hat, gloves, tools if needed). Review safety and “field etiquette” Get to work! 12:30-1:00 Final 30 minutes for celebrating/picnicking Wear your farm clothes for weeding, cleaning up limbs from the tornado, & general labor. Those with a chainsaw & experience, please bring it! Food donations accepted for volunteers. Kids welcome. No dogs, please. 16301 Decker Lake Rd. Manor, TX 78653 Let’s restore the farm to her former beauty! And pray those live oaks back to their glory! In time, in time….
We are excited to introduce a new staff member, Staci Brindle! She’s a nutritionist, food blogger and veggie junkie that it is as wild about local organic produce as we are. You can check out her blog, The Green Spork, but she will also be sharing some of her tasty creations here at Tecolote, like today’s recipe featuring this weeks harvest of curly kale. In addition to being a Jill-of-all-trades (including a love of farming) Staci has website and graphic skills that she’s bring to the Farm. Stay tuned for exciting changes coming to the Tecolote site and social media. Perhaps the best part is that Katie finally has some help in the office (woo hoo!) Today’s recipe is a seasonal take on a simple kale salad. This recipe explains how to ‘massage’ the dressing into kale, which is an important step. If you have never massaged kale you will find that this extra effort softens the kale and transforms it into a tender, delicate salad showstopper. It’s especially nice on a spring day enjoyed outside with a chilled glass of your favorite white wine. Kale & Black Bean Salad with Beets, Pepitas & Avocado by The Green Spork Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 0 mins 6070743 Ingredients 8 stalks of kale, washed, dried and destemmed 1 cup red cabbage thinly shredded 1 Tbls. Olive Oil or Coconut Oil 1 tsp. soy sauce 2 Tbls. raw tahini juice of 1 lemon 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed 2 medium beets, cooked, peeled and cubed 1 avocado cubed 1/8 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 1 Tbs hemp seeds, or seseme seeds Instructions In a large bowl tear the kale into bite sized pieces. Add the shredded cabbage to the bowl, and admire the beautiful color combo. Add the […]
Happy New Year! We hope that the coming year brings you Health and Peace! Katie and I have been marveling at the changes that have happened surrounding food here in Central Texas since we started farming here 21 years ago. When we began, the few farmers markets that existed were flooded with Mexican produce, restaurants wouldn’t even talk to local growers, and not a CSA existed in Texas or even the South. Well, we’ve come a long way. For most of us here in the Austin area, the availability of quality food is so much greater now. Of course the marketing potential for the trend has not been lost on companies both large and small, so that everywhere we turn we see a new craze. “Farm fresh” seems to apply to about anything. Whole Foods will now deliver California produce to your door, and even “local” produce often changes hands 2-3 times before it gets to the consumer. We are starting to feel “old-fashioned” now. What we are, and have been doing for 2 decades, really seems so simple. Harvesting seasonal produce in the cool of the morning, and bringing it to people’s houses within 24 hours is what we do. We are happy with the sustainable scale at which we operate, and are given meaning by having a relationship with those who eat our food. Our goal is not to make piles of money or build a huge business. We are content with our place in the community and appreciate your making it possible to do what we do. We hope you’ll join us for the upcoming spring and summer season! With sincere thanks for your support, David Pitre, 2.5.15 HOW TO SIGN UP As always, we strive to begin deliveries the week after Spring Break & SxSW, […]
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 email@example.com, 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 […]
We are thrilled to celebrate 20 full years farming the rich blackland prairie soils of our beloved home farm this year. So much has happened to us, to Austin, to eastern Travis County in two decades, not the least of which is the community of people that has in one way or another sprung up via an affiliation with our farm. Buoyed by this network, we are ready to start the next twenty years strong, with many new projects in the wings, and a strong, committed team. Speaking of our Farm Crew of Destiny, we just received this lovely, hand-crafted Christmas present from 2012 crew member and rising manager, Earl, who put this enduring Tecolote Farm philosophy into a physical reminder for the wash area: Nice work, Earl! Additionally, this pastry chef-turned-farmer co-wrote our grant application to the Austin Food and Wine Alliance , and we were selected! AFWA received 30 applications, from which they had to choose only 3 grant award winners. We were proud to accept the grant, which will help us get our longstanding plans off the ground to 1. raise heritage breeds of pastured pork and 2. offer subsidized CSA shares for low income families in the area. Thank you to the grant selection committee and to the Board of Austin Food and Wine Alliance- we know we were in good company and you had hard choices to make. These are just a couple of the big things happening in 2013, our 20th anniversary year! We are accepting new CSA members for the 2013 season. Prices are not going up and we’ll be delivering the same Awesome, not Perfect vegetables that have kept Austin happy for 20 years! Check out our CSA page for more information. Merry Christmas~ Happy New Year!
Summertime, and the cookin’ is easy: slice up some cucumbers with tomatoes, sweet onions, and pour on a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Voila! You can find the ingredients for easy Greek Salad or for grilled okra or Roasted New Mexican Chiles at one of the Saturday farmers markets where we go these days: Downtown Austin (SFC famers market downtown) or Sunset Valley Farmers Market. Both are Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm. At the downtown market, find us at the shady northwest corner (on 5th and San Antonio) next to the coffee and breakfast tacos.
CSA basketeer Christina found this cool recipe from a gluten-free slow cooking blog, and adds, “Everything is vegan, but you can substitute parmesan for the nutritional yeast for amore traditional style pesto. It looks so good in that turnip soup too. ” recipes and images courtesy of: http://healthyslowcooking.com/2012/04/23/potato-turnip-soup-with-spring-greens-pesto/ Spring Greens Pesto gluten-free, soy-free 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup orange juice 4 cups greens (collards, kale, arugula, spinach, etc.), stems removed and chopped ¼ to ½ cup nutritional yeast 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or extra orange juice 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or plain lemon juice) ½ teaspoon smoked salt (or plain salt to taste and a few drop liquid smoke) After you prep the greens add the water and orange juice to a sauté pan on medium heat. Add greens and cook until greens are tender, but still bright green (about 10 minutes). You can add extra water in cooking if it gets too dry. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until grainy or finely minced but not pureed. Add extra olive oil, water, or orange juice if the mixture is too thick. Makes 1 to 2 cups pesto Is recommended as well in this soup: Slow Cooker Potato Turnip Soup 2 cups turnips, peeled and chopped 4 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped 4 cups water 1 tablespoon vegan chick’n bouillon 1 sprigs rosemary, 2 to 3 inch or 1/2 teaspoon ground salt and pepper to taste 1 to 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, optional Add everything except salt, pepper, and almond milk to your slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Remove rosemary sprig and discard. Puree using an immersion blender. If you want a thinner soup add the non-dairy milk and blend it in also. Add salt […]
Outside of the Agro-industrial Pipeline by David Pitre Happy New Year! Here’s to Health and Peace for all of us. As always, we are excited about the coming year on the farm. One of the common traits successful farmers share is a poor memory, which allows us to specifically forget the trials, tribulations, and sore muscles of the past year while getting all giddy about the fresh young plants in the greenhouse ready to go in the ground. It’s wonderful to be able to start fresh each year. As many of you know, we have struggled with water issues on our farm. This year we are starting to develop for farming new land about 12 miles east of us. We have planted onions there and hope to grow some of our potatoes, melons, and winter squash. The soil there is wonderfully rich and water appears to be plentiful. We are very thankful that the opportunity for the new land arose and that we are making it work as a new farm. You, our CSA members and regular farmers market shoppers, may not know it, but you are doing something radical. You are supporting and investing in a relationship that flies in the face of the anonymous global marketplace. You are creating a direct connection between the growing of the food that sustains you and your family. It is a personal relationship built on trust and respect. As we make decisions on the farm, and grow and harvest produce, we have many of your faces in our minds. It is similar to the visions of family or friends you hold as you cook in your kitchen. You have their health and happiness in mind as you cook, and it guides how you do it. This gives great meaning to what we […]
The first month of the new year is coming to a close, and a soggy, fecund close it is. Photos of Decker Creek and most of Tecolote Farm flooding have been astounding many of you. Living on a perennial creek quite literally has its Ups and Downs! We have seen the creek rise like this several times in the 19 years we’ve lived here, but last Wednesday night’s rain took the prize for the most rain we’ve ever had in 24 hours. We topped 6 inches here at the main farm, and the River Farm in Bastrop County had closer to 7 inches! The vegetables are out of the flood plain, though, by design, so we were able to come to market last Saturday with an abundant supply of greens, roots, herbs, and broccoli. We’ll be back again for the first Saturday of February at the downtown market. The Swiss Chard is more beautiful than ever, with its rainbow of Bright Light colors fully saturated in the overcast wet environment. Hurray for replenishment! [nggallery id=1]
Why I’m returning by Lorig Hawkins, Tecolote Farm Manager-in-Training On the last day of 2011, I proudly put my first full farm journal on my bookshelves. I was so giddy and proud at the fact that I have been farming, or rather, learning how to farm, for a year! You see, from the moment I knew this work was for me I have documented every moment I have spent farming. For all you super geeks out there you will be happy to note I have gone one step further and after re-reading my notes I have indexed everything into topics that I can then reference in a larger notebook. Whether it was at Urban Roots, Tecolote Farm, or any other farm I’ve visited, I’ve made a point to write down everything I could remember from that day, as small as it seemed. Because believe me, if you listen closely, are aware, and work really hard to see the bigger picture and make connections, you learn something extremely valuable every time you step foot in the fields. And I couldn’t be more fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from David and Katie at Tecolote. He may say it flippantly or in passing but David will make comments that will guide you forever as a farmer; you just have to be listening. And guys, I’m listening and writing it all down! And as I shelve that first year notebook I eagerly pick up the next one, labeled 2012. This year I will continue at Tecolote for their regular spring/summer CSA season. I am returning for more, hungry to learn, hungry to work and sweat and ache, and hungry to continue meeting people who care about their food, and their farmers, and care about making it all accessible. I am so excited […]
Now taking 2012 CSA sign-ups! 2012 CSA Subscription Agreements coming soon (within the next two days)- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand to reserve your spot for our award-winning, long-standing vegetable delivery service! Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson at the Paramount Stateside Theater last night was a lovely way to end a weekend full of a slow, soaking, stuck-in-the-mud kinda rain. I’d like to pay tribute to both of them and the poem which Edible Austin’s Marla Camp asked Wendell to read last night: Water from Farming: A Handbook by Wendell Berry I was born in a drouth year. That summer my mother waited in the house, enclosed in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind, for the men to come back in the evenings, bringing water from a distant spring. veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank. And all my life I have dreaded the return of that year, sure that it still is somewhere, like a dead enemy’s soul. Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me, and I am the faithful husband of the rain, I love the water of wells and springs and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns. I am a dry man whose thirst is praise of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup. My sweetness is to wake in the night after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.
After some weary years of wrestling with water lines and digging trenches for buried pipe and electric cable to a new small production well at our original Webberville farm, we are going to Hawaii going to do it again! At the new River Farm in Utley, Bastrop County, down on the Colorado River, about 12 miles east of our current farm. The well-diggers were there all day yesterday, and are at it again today, trying to find a good, dependable source of well water for us for many more decades of organic vegetable production. Fingers crossed, hopes high, looking for water when it’s oh-so-dry. We welcome all well-wishers (haha), prayers, hopeful thoughts, thunderstorms, etc.
We hope you have all survived the hottest, driest central Texas summer in recorded history! While our plans to take the kids on a road trip to the mountain ranges of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana preceded knowledge of the horrendous summer that lay ahead, in retrospect we feel very fortunate that we weren’t picking okra in 107° all July!! I know many of you missed the okra, melons, tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumber-melons that late summer baskets bring, but have no fear: we’ll be doing summer season as usual starting again in 2012. The real question on everyone’s mind, though, is: “Will there even be a fall season in this dratted weather, and, if so, when will it start?” We planned and were excited about a fall CSA (our first ever), so we plunged right in- despite the daunting late August/early September weather- and got seeds started in plug trays (in the cooler!) and transplants in the hot ground. We wanted to start the first week of October, or last week of September. It has been an act of hope planting into hard, dry ground full of clods, and keeping the soil moist enough to entice germination and continued life. We sent Zachary, our eldest, up to Jarrell one day with the truck and trailer to purchase 3 round bales of corn stalks for use as mulch. The newly-transplanted peppers and eggplants wouldn’t have survived without protection, and there was not a stalk of untreated hay or straw to be had within all surrounding counties. Corn farmers who lost their crop still baled the stalks to sell for feed to hay-starved livestock, beneficial at least for caloric value. So, the short answer is: “Yes, we still plan to do a Fall CSA, and hope to start in mid October.” The […]