We were honored to have our 22 year old CSA be featured in the Fresh issue of Edible Austin in early 2016. Here is the article in full from www.edibleaustin.com . Maggie the Bloodhound has been busy signing autographs ever since. She’s thinking of leaving her porch guard post for a career in modeling. TECOLOTE FARM: STAYING WITH THE PROGRAM by Anne Marie Hampshire • Photography by Andy Sams On Sundays, David Pitre reads The New York Times—from front to back—and it takes him nearly all day. It’s how he relaxes on his one day off in the “off-season” at Tecolote Farm, Pitre’s benevolent “boss.” On this pleasantly warm October day, though, Pitre takes a break from his reading ritual to sit out on the back porch with his partner in both marriage and business, Katie Kraemer. Their 1920s farmhouse is nestled in the middle of 65 acres of rich Blackland Prairie soil 13 miles east of Austin in Webberville, and the view from the porch is lush, serene and decidedly bucolic. This “easy like Sunday morning” vibe is not the norm, however, for the lion’s share of the year. From mid-March through early August, Pitre and Kraemer operate as a blur—coordinating and operating a CSA program (the longest-running in Texas), delivering baskets to more than 300 CSA subscribers, selling at farmers markets and supplying restaurants and delivery services such as Farmhouse Delivery. In the months in between, there’s still plenty of harvesting and selling to do, as well as all of the things needed to prepare for the busy season (planting cover crops, redesigning irrigation, making repairs, etc.). But the pace is not quite as breakneck until about January, and that’s by design. “We don’t do the CSA in the fall typically, so that we don’t burn out […]
You may have noticed some changes on our site and we are excited to roll them out! In addition to spiffin’ up the website, we have been so fortunate to partner with photographer, Keeshi Ingram, of Keeshi + Photo. She is an Austin-based photographer specializing in documentary style photography, which suits the farm perfectly. Keeshi’s talent of capturing the beauty in even the simplest of moments makes these hot & sweaty (and just a little bit shy) farmers blush. Keeshi does an amazing job capturing every detail of Tecolote. The people. The fields. The veggies. The sunlight. As you all know, we are passionate about local organic food, but also the greater meaning of ‘local food’. Through Keeshi’s exquisite photos we hope to capture the daily operations of the farm and offer our customers a beautiful, real and organic look at the little farm that works so hard to bring the best quality vegetables to your kitchen. We are grateful for the amazing work of this artist, and look forward to bringing more of Keeshi’s photos to you soon. Check out more of Keeshi’s photos in our new Gallery!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! What better way to celebrate than with a tasty feast featuring lots of Tecolote cilantro, onions and garlic! Check out our Tecolote goodies featured on The Green Spork’s blog. Wondering whatto do with all that cilantro, onions and garlic? Here are some ideas perfect for Cinco de Mayo!
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!
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!
Cecilia Nasti came out to the farm on the same evening that our crew was shooting skeet after work. She wasn’t ruffled, however, to hear gunshots at an organic farm. Her “real job” at Texas Parks and Wildlife has her covering hunting issues as well as natural places of beauty for their radio pieces about Texas Parks. She recently did a story on nothing other than… skeet shooting. It was a true pleasure to hang out on the back deck with this Austin original and our one-time neighbor. Her love of food, gardening, and cooking is evident: her Field and Feast show, which airs on KUT every weekend and took the place of Growing Concerns, is her own baby. She does it to spread the good word about farm-to-table connections. Her podcast about Tecolote is airing on KUT this Saturday, April 28, at 11:55 a.m., or Sunday, April 30, at 11:01 a.m. You can also hear the podcast anytime from her website.
From Monday basketeer Stephanie Johnson. Hi Katie, Here’s the recipe for the souffle. It was really good; cheesy and tangy! I love sorrel. I had never even seen sorrel before I got my first Tecolote bunch however many years back it’s been. It was actually quite easy to make, I hope lots of people will try it! Love, Stephanie Sorrel Soufflé (Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Cheese Soufflé in How to Cook Everything) 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick butter), plus 1 teaspoon ¼ cup flour 1½ cups milk, warmed until hot to the touch 6 eggs, separated Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Dash cayenne or 1/8 tsp. dry mustard 1 cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese, like aged asiago, Pecorino Romano I small shallot, minced 1 cup sorrel puree (1 bunch, stemmed and sautéed in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until it becomes a puree Preheat the oven to 400°. Use the teaspoon of butter to grease a 2-quart soufflé dish or other deep baking dish, such as a Corningware-type dish. If you want to make individual soufflés, use a little more butter and grease four 1 ½ – to 2-cup ramekins. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining butter. When it foams,add the flour and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring, until the mixture darkens a bit, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk a little at a time to avoid lumps, and then cook until the mixture is thick, just a minute or two longer. Turn off heat and stir in the egg yolks, salt, pepper, cayenne or mustard, cheese, shallots and sorrel puree. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt, just until they hold soft peaks. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the beaten whites into the batter, and […]
We had a wicked 22° wake-up last Friday morning, which gave us quite a scare. Although we had much of the field covered in anticipation of the low 30s, we couldn’t possibly have covered everything. The cucumber and squash plants were flattened, and any pepper and eggplant rows we hadn’t covered were toast. Everything suffered a little-even the cold-hardy beet and turnip tops were cringing, but as you can see from today’s basket, plenty survived with nutritional and aesthetic radiance. Our fear was that the head lettuces would be history, but just look at that romaine! We’ll have red iceberg for you next week, and probably beets as well. As my father, a lifelong citrus farmer, tells us, “You know you’re the biggest gamblers there are.” That’s farming. But the payoff is worth it at dinnertime. Our eldest, Zachary, will come home from India next Sunday. We are daydreaming of our first meal all together again, sharing life over dinner.Thanks for your support & appreciation of good food. Now, may the freezes be light and the baskets be heavy. October 24, 2011 Welcome to the First Ever Fall Tecolote Basket Season! “Wonder of wonder, miracle, miracle!” Here we go with our first-ever Fall CSA at Tecolote Farm! It didn’t seem like such a bad idea at the time: taking July off of our regular basket season to celebrate our two eldest children’s graduations from High School and Middle School, to show them that even farm kids can occasionally have a summer vacation worthy of a first day back –to-school essay. It didn’t seem like such a bad idea that we would make up for this lapse from real life by having a Fall CSA season. But then September was in the 110s, or at least never below 95. Not a […]
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 […]
We will be inspired and refreshed for our first ever Fall basket subscription service- hope you can participate!
[slideshow] photos courtesy of ACC photography student Chelsie Ybarra We will still be at the Austin Farmers Market Downtown and the Cedar Park Market on Saturday, July 2nd, then we’re loading up the kids for a 4th of July food fest with friend and farmer Loncito, of Loncito’s Lamb fame, before heading out of town for a little graduation (wow, you grew up fast!) celebratory road trip. The kids sure are growing up fast, and farm life doesn’t leave much time for summer vacations. Our kids work hard right alongside us, and we’re treating them to a real summer vacation this year for a change: a little road trip, complete with camping and backpacking in cooler elevations! In spite of the relieving effect of last Tuesday night’s wonderful, seemingly miraculous one inch rain, I still think we picked a good year to let the fields rest in July and August, and take up again in September. What a summer we’ve had already, and here Tuesday, June 21st’s Summer Solstice supposedly just marked Summer’s First Day. Ha! Although we don’t have too many summer crops planted, we do have a few that were intended to help us get through our CSA deliveries. Well, they were a little late in making, so come down to the market for the only tastes of Tecolote Summertime you’ll have this summer! David and I will each bring a taste of TOMATOES and tomatillos, and we’ll have just a sampling of gorgeous purple eggplant. Still lots of great late spring goodness happening too-here’s what you’ll find on our tables at the Cedar Park Farmers’ market (Lakeline Mall parking lot, behind Sears and Dillards) and at SFC Farmers Market Downtown (I’m at 5th/San Antonio corner of Republic Square Park). Please check out our Facebook Page and like […]
Took seven of us almost three hours to pick all the green beans the other day. Hot- 104 degrees yesterday- when the first relatives came in to celebrate the two graduations happening this and next week. Here’s the cloud that ended the 104 degree day, and the kids who played below it. 8th grade and 12th grade graduations coming up- big times around here. I forgot to take a picture of all the green beans and romano beans in the cooler. Hundreds of pounds! Thanks to Texas French Bread, Monument Market, Eastside Showroom, and Farmhouse Delivery and Greenling for taking some of these off our hands! Also, our CSA customers have been ordering extra! There will be lots more for YOU at the markets this weekend!!
Whether you’re visiting Farmer Dave at the Cedar Park Farms to Market or Katie at the Downtown market, you’re sure to find the prettiest, crispest, tastiest, freshest produce anywhere. And, if that’s not enough, it’s certified organic and certified good! Let us hear from you if you want us to continue at Sunset Valley…[slideshow]
You can find us at three Saturday farmers markets starting May 14th. All three go from 9 am to 1 pm, but be sure to arrive by 10:30 a.m. for the best selection. You can find us at the downtown Austin Farmers Market, the Cedar Park Farms to Market at Lakeline Mall, and back again at Sunset Valley Farmers Market, We’ll be bringing gorgeous red turnips like those pictured below, as well as our wildly beautiful Tecolote “Fiesta Beets”~ a riotous color splash of golden, blood red and hot pink Chioggia beets in mixed bunches. Salad mixes and large leafy greens are still here- enjoy them before the summer devours their splendour! In addition to beets, turnips, watermelon radishes, DAIKON radishes, escarole, radicchio, flat-leaf parsley and lots of leafy greens, we are still selling some of our hand-drilled birdhouse gourds. If you’d like to pre-order some of these lovely garden adornments or would prefer some gourds without amendments, email us at the farm at tecolotefarm at g mail dot com and we’ll set some aside for you. Lebanese summer squash are coming in like wildfire, and they are super tasty in all their thin-skinned flavor. Our friend Emmett Fox at Asti likes to slice them thinly on a mandolin, long-ways, and dress them a ricotta salata, lemon, oil, and basil-mint drizzle. Simply divine. Please come find us at a market this coming Saturday! We’d love to share the freshness of the garden with you.
The summer heat is early upon us this year, and the ground cries out for rain. Luckily for us, our new well is trickling a steady stream into the holding tank and allowing us to irrigate as needed. The crops are still vibrant and beautiful, as can be seen from CSA customer Christina’s photo stream or local food blogger Kathryn’s Austin Gastronomist post. Quality comes through, from the color and moisture of the fresh delivered vegetables right on through to your healthy diet and body! We have about 6 spots left on one of our CSA routes- and only 10 weeks left in the spring/early summer season to enjoy it!
It’s amazing what gets done when it just has to. Farming takes up pretty much 8 days a week these days, yet there’s still college and high school applications to do for graduating 8th and 12th graders, still Slow Food happy hours to prepare, still sleep to be had when the getting’s good. Getting into the 21st Century this spring has been keeping me busy too- what with Facebook and Twitter and this new website, I’m learning the ropes the regular way: by doing. It’s always nice to get a little help, though, so Addie Broyles’ CSA Openings article in the paper today was a pleasant surprise. It’s true that we have about 10 more spots available for this season, most of them on our Wednesday route (that’s you, South and East Austin, Travis Hts., Zilker, and Westlake!) We’ve had an unbearably long waiting list for most of our time in Austin, and here’s why: In today’s basket, for instance, subscribers received sweet mustard greens, escarole, turnips (the really good ones), beets, heirloom radishes, spinach, a huge bag of spring baby lettuces, a spring onion, green garlic, shallot scapes… and that was just today, their third week of deliveries. Quantities are ample, vegetables are beautiful, life is working (even if it is 8 days a week!)
Spring goodness is in full swing here at the farm. We’re headed to two farmers markets this Saturday (Cedar Park and Austin Downtown) with so much goodness. Even though it would be easier to run a farm stand here on the farm, we thoroughly enjoy mixing it up at the markets and making our produce accessible to more people. We found a Mustard green that is much sweeter than any of the American or European greens. It’s sweeter and not quite as pungent. Great flavor. Kale and Collard Greens will be in ample supply. Traditionally, a lot of these greens were a spring tonic after a winter of heavy foods (meats and cheeses). Try a white bean-sausage & kale soup. Also, try to get your hands on one of our gorgeous, huge ESCAROLE, with beautiful blanched hearts and weighing in at a few pounds each! Have you checked out our heirloom LEEKS? They’re big, blue, and beautiful this year. Several varieties of heirloom radishes will grace our tables, and both freshly-dug (not yet cured) GARLIC, and also young, no need-to-peel GREEN GARLIC. Our salad mixes are tender and come in two flavors: Euro Mix~heirloom lettuces mixed with baby Italian cutting chicory and arugula and a blend of heirloom baby lettuces. One more week til we have our baby carrots and red beets. Radicchio and kohlrabi looking good for next week. Fennel not too far off either.
If you are interested in sharing and receiving recipes using the vegetables we grow, you can join our Yahoo listserv. All messages will come to the moderator first for approval, so you won’t get all those accidental replies to all! Here’s the link to join: Click to join tecolotefarm Hope you’ll come out to the farmers markets starting up again in mid-October.
April 1: CSA starts! Join today to get in on one of the final slots. Our Friday first day is April 1, Monday’s is April 4th April 2: Return to Cedar Park Farmers Market for the first time in 2011, and to Austin Farmers Market Downtown for our second week of the season. We’ll have heirloom spinach, snow pea tendrils, green garlic (a red heirloom variety), beautiful heads of Romaine, and more April 10: ATX Food Swappers meet at Tecolote for a one-of-a-kind food sharing experience. Tickets are required for this event. Please get directions and RSVP if space is still available here. April 17: Katie is the featured speaker at the culminating event of the Journey with Food series . This one hour event is free and open to the public. It takes place at the First UU Church at 4700 Grover Avenue, and is broadcast on cable TV channel 10 later in the day. More details here. April 21: Slow Food Austin Happy Hour here at the farm from 6-8 pm. Small donation to Slow Food at the gate. Should be beautiful then, as it is now. As you can see, folks, April is looking mighty busy above and beyond the work of actually growing all this good food, so we will wait until early May to host our Annual CSA Members Potluck and Farm Tour.
First week back at the farmers market today. Thanks for coming, y’all! Sold out of our tasty spinach and green heirloom garlic in no time. Couldn’t BELIEVE the excitement over our tender Snow Pea Tendrils- we’ll definitely do those again in the future (and hopefully, next week!) So good to see all of our old friends, and meet some new ones. Since we only brought a sampling of the bounty soon to come, we had lots of time for chatting and catching up- what a treat! Even got to snuzzle with babies and take a stroll through the market.
We are joyfully returning to the farmers market March 26, 2011 with delicious heirloom SPINACH, tender SNOW PEA TENDRILS, and fresh and tasty GREEN GARLIC. I will be downtown at the Austin Farmers Market on 4th St. (at Republic Square Park). The fields are beautiful and ready to deliver a great myriad of root vegetables and leafy greens for the next couple months to come. Ahhhhh, spring.