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.
Tag Archives | oldest CSA in Austin
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 do, and is in contrast to conventional or mono-crop large scale organic farms that anonymously feed into the world’s agro-industrial pipeline. For those types of farmers there is little incentive to produce the best they are able because it all gets mixed in with every other farm’s product. The effect is that they only try and meet the lowest common denominator, and the bar continually lowers. Anyone that is older can attest to the fact that food quality, flavor, and nutrition is not what it was. By participating in our CSA, or weekly market, relationship, you are receiving great, delicious, nutritious food that was grown with concern for the earth and the workers, but you are also demonstrating that our food system can be one that is honest and healthy, one that values integrity and compassion.
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 about days of tying square knots on every single tomato plant down multiple rows in the dead of afternoon. I can’t wait to pick up ungodly heavy black crates full of sweet melons, only to have to carry them in sand, where with each step you will yourself to hold on for just a bit longer. I look forward to grubbing for potatoes and the way it burns your knees because the sand is so hot and you have to kneel. I look forward to cracked and cut hands and bruised elbows and knees because it’s all part of the job. I am eager to take on more responsibility and learn as a manager how to lead and keep people excited about farming, how to encourage our team to work hard because it’s us versus the big guns and we need all the committed help we can get. I look forward to my team helping me grow as a person and challenge me to be better every moment of every day that I step out to lead and work. I am so thankful to get another chance to grow food for wonderful people and feel proud of our work. And I can’t wait to learn more, and continue to learn everyday for the rest of my life, for I will be farming for the rest of my days. So here’s to another year of farming, and another notebook for my shelf.
Now taking 2012 CSA sign-ups!
2012 CSA Subscription Agreements coming soon (within the next two days)- email me at email@example.com 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.
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- Carrot & Daikon Refrigerator Pickle
- CSA Tagine with Romano Beans
- Roasted Turnips & Kohlrabi in Wine
- Squash-Rice Casserole with Sorrel
- Greens with Roasted Peanuts & Red Pepper
- Chicken and Chard Enchilada Casserole from Epicurious
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.