Saturday, February 07, 2009

Farm Day

We spent some time today checking out a couple of farms around Austin. I had been looking at the Local Harvest website for information on community supported agriculture, a interest that began for me with the book Food Politics (still only half-way through it, but it's an eye-opener) and this article, an open letter to the then-unchosen next president from the New York Times (or check out the extended audio interview from NPR).

In looking on the Local Harvest website I was excited to see a farm just two and a half miles from downtown, Boggy Creek Farm. They have harvest days on Wednesdays and Saturdays so we decided to go check it out. It's right in east Austin, in the midst of an eclectic and in some places run-down neighborhood. The fields are smallish (for a farm - much bigger than our little garden spot!) and in separate sections. We walked around from one to another, letting Zack run around, checking out the crops, and generally enjoying the warm, overcast day.

The chicken coop had quite a lot of birds, but by the time we got to the market stand, they didn't have any eggs. We did buy a little fresh produce. I wanted some goat's milk (local, from Pure Luck Farm and Dairy in Dripping Springs), but I think James was worried it would be a little wonky, so we passed on that for this time. Hopefully I'll manage to make something interesting enough with our purchases to report on it later!

Next, we checked out Johnson's Backyard Garden, a slightly larger operation a littler further out of town. A friend of mine subscribes to their weekly half-bushel box of seasonal produce and loves it. I've been on the waiting list, but according to their website they expect to be able to add subscribers for spring. We wanted to see the area before we decided. They have 20 acres and larger equipment, but it's a small, local operation. The produce that my friend has shared with me in the past has always been excellent and varied. It's a little bit of pressure to figure out how to fix whatever arrives, but it's exciting too. I need to talk to James, but I think we're going to do it.

After all that, James wanted to drive through the area looking at land for sale and wishing. So we did, and ended up in Lockhardt for barbecue lunch: no sauce, no plates, no forks. I guess I'm not a barbecue purist, because I missed the sauce, but the food was good. Clearly, my boys enjoyed it!

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