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!
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We have a fantastic farm crew this season, and we are so grateful. They are smart, engaging, curious, dedicated, funny, and reliable. They have been logging many 9 and 10 plus hour days, yet still they bring smiles and great attitudes to the farm day after day. The Farm Crew of Destiny this spring includes many return farmers. The returnees have wisdom and encouragement to share with the first-time farmhands, or those new to Tecolote’s quick pace and attention to detail. The crew has been working so efficiently that post-work happy hours are well-deserved and promising to be frequent. Teamwork, cooperation, group responsibility, and communication are thriving, and it shows. It doesn’t hurt that new manager Lorig has a relentless dedication to smooth sailing and positive feedback, or that Meche has been with us for so many years. We started the season with an Orientation Day in late March, complete with greenhouse cooling system briefings, doggie distractions,a full “parking lot” of mini-trucks, a few riveting volleyball games, and finally, more time on the porch.
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 […]
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 […]