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.
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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!
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 long answer is, “We are doing everything we can to ensure a varied and bountiful crop for fall baskets, but are losing a lot to the heat and low soil moisture. Baskets will be $33, as before, and a rough estimate now is a 4-6 week season.
Luckily, our new Bastrop County land was not touched by the fires. We have friends who have lost their homes, and a neighbor who lost her brother, to the wildfires. It is at times like these that we count our blessings and remember those who are suffering most directly. Thanks for keeping the wildfire victims and Texas farmers in your thoughts and prayers.
- Tecolote Farm looking to fill crew and management positions for 2014. http://t.co/Mh5KoKM3Qp about 3 hours ago
- We are looking for general crew members as well as one or two managers for the 2014 season (don't worry- it will... http://t.co/SyCkHZkqqM about 3 hours ago
- Hurray, La Condesa Austin is back open for business. The fire did a number on their kitchen, but this... http://t.co/qBFG1w7tpT about 3 hours ago
- Lots of our restaurant and farm friends mentioned in this Austin Fit Magazine web piece, including: Boggy Creek... http://t.co/VJMwnRAKyq about 1 day ago
- An Anniversary Harvest from Tecolote Farm, Austin’s Original CSA | Austin Fit Magazine: http://t.co/oYoXHwC1Le about 1 day ago
- Roasted Turnips & Kohlrabi in Wine
- Lentil Soup with Greens
- Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad
- Pan-Fried Squash Fritters
- Gumbo Z’herbes (Green Gumbo)
- Sorrel Soufflé
I think this is year 9 for me; I have learned so much about the beautiful bountiful variety of plants that the earth produces with your love and cultivation. Thank you for this tasty adventure and for being connected to so many people who honor the earth. And thanks for sending all the innovative recipes.Martha S.