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LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

03/05/15 — Farm

All bundled up to plant in the cold!  Photo by Scott David Gordon All bundled up to plant in the cold! Photo by Scott David Gordon

I know it's only March, but this is already turning out to be a most unusual year.  What makes it unusual is how far off we've been on our planting.  For example, we just finished planting our potatoes this week; during a typical year, we would have had this done no later than Valentine's Day.  This year has been different due to the rain - we've just had so much of it in a relatively short period of time.  Now, given that I am a farmer in Texas, I am not going to complain about the rain, but the timing of it has presented us with challenges.

It's cold out there with that wind!  Photo by Scott David Gordon It's cold out there with that wind! Photo by Scott David Gordon

The main hurtle we've had to clear is how to prepare our beds.  We've worked hard to figure out how to best prepare the ground for planting, but the rain has thrown a wrench into this.  When the soil is wet, it is difficult to work with.  I have learned, though, not to wait for things to be perfect; in farming, they never are.  Instead, we have to deal with what is.  In this case, that means getting our transplants in the ground now so we have crops come Spring.

Plants get in the ground despite the cold and wet conditions.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Plants get in the ground despite the cold and wet conditions. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Another consequence of rain on a farm is mud!  You would not believe how muddy our office has been. In fact, the mud got so deep in there that we had to start taking it out with a shovel!  Seriously.  Now, we have "mud teams" set up to clear it out everyday so it doesn't get so bad.  And, yesterday, we had four truckloads of gravel delivered to help cut down on this problem.

I have to take a moment to thank our incredible field crew for working through the cold and wet conditions that we've had this year.  Believe me, it can be miserable out there when the air is damp and cold and the wind is blowing.  It is also much harder to transplant when faced with 30 mph winds!  Our crew tackles the tasks like the professionals they are - my thanks to all of them for consistently working hard regardless of the conditions.

Listening to Kate Payne inside the (relative) warmth of the greenhouse.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Listening to Kate Payne inside the (relative) warmth of the greenhouse. Photo by Scott David Gordon

My thanks to all of you, too, who headed out to Kate Payne's Pickling Class this weekend despite the cold and wet weather.  Luckily, we were able to find some relief inside of our greenhouse with the heated floor!  Kate was amazing as always, and I hope everyone enjoyed giving pickling a try.  Be sure to scroll down to see the great photos that Scott David Gordon captured of the event.

Come see our greenhouses and pick out transplants for your garden!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Come see our greenhouses and pick out transplants for your garden! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Annual Spring Organic Transplant Sale

Last Saturday was also the first day of our Spring Organic Transplant Sale, and I was really glad that so many of you came to that, too.  I love knowing that those transplants are going to end up in backyard gardens all around Austin.  If you've never gardened before, I highly encourage you to give it a try - you'll be amazed by your ability to grow your own food!  I know I was!  Here are the details on the transplant sale:

Dates: Saturday March 7, March 14th, and March 21st

Where: JBG, 4008 River Road, Cedar Creek, TX 78612  (10 miles East of ABIA off of 71)

Time: 9am to 2pm

What: Our selection includes tons Tomatoes (heirlooms, cherries, traditional red slicers, San Marzano romas, and tomatillos), sweet & hot peppers, basil, eggplant, squash, zucchini, watermelons, swiss chard, onions, seed potatoes, lettuces, kale, broccoli, cabbage, okra, cauliflower and spinach

Our greenhouse is full of certified organic transplants for your garden!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our greenhouse is full of certified organic transplants for your garden! Photo by Scott David Gordon

I hope to see you out there!  If you do come to the transplant sale, you will also be able to see all of the progress we've made out at River Road.  This past weekend, two of our former employees, Sam Thorp and Lindsey Reimnitz, were out there, and they couldn't believe how much it has changed.  I can say we have really been working hard out there, and I am proud of all the improvements we've made.  On April 4th, I hope you will join us for the Spring Hoedown and 1st Annual 5k Garden Gallop and Fun Run (click here for more info)!  I know I am looking forward to it - I'm getting my costume ready for the race!  Mark your calendars as you don't want to miss this Spring Hoedown!

What Kind of Future Events Would You Like Us to Host at JBG?

The truth is, I love hosting events at the farm - so much so that we are laying the groundwork to do more of this at River Road.   For example, we've been hard at work building the stage for the bands that will play at the Spring Hoedown and future events.   What I want to know from you is what kind of events would you like to see more of at JBG?  Do you want more classes like the ones we've had with Kate Payne and Jesse Griffiths?  Would you like more you-pick events?  More farm tours?  Potlucks and picnics?  Other ideas?  Please let me know!  You can either respond at the end of this post or send me an email at brenton@jbgorganic.com.  I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

PHOTOS: KATE PAYNE'S PICKLING CLASS

03/05/15 — Farm

Kate Payne gives a pickling demo at JBG.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Kate Payne gives a pickling demo at JBG. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Thank you, Scott, for capturing these great images of Kate Payne's Pickling class at JBG and the first weekend of the Spring Organic Transplant Sale.  Hope to see you out at the transplant sale this Saturday from 9am to 2pm!

Kate Payne teaches pickling in JBG's greenhouse.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Kate Payne teaches pickling in JBG's greenhouse. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Kate uses JBG carrots for her pickling demo.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Kate uses JBG carrots for her pickling demo. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Guests give pickling a try with JBG carrots.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Guests give pickling a try with JBG carrots. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Jimmy Johnson grabs some carrots for pickling.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Jimmy Johnson grabs some carrots for pickling. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Success!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Success! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Kate signs her book for a guests. Thanks so much, Kate, for bringing your talents to JBG! Photo by Scott David Gordon Kate signs her book for a guests. Thanks so much, Kate, for bringing your talents to JBG! Photo by Scott David Gordon

And, last Saturday was the first weekend of our Annual Spring Organic Transplant Sale.   Hope to see you there this Saturday, March 7th, from 9am to 2pm at 4008 River Road.

Picking out transplants.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Picking out transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon

CURRIED GARBANZO BEAN & CARROT STIR-FRY

03/05/15 — Farm

FullSizeRender

By Jessye Hipp

Curried Garbanzo Bean & Carrot Stir-fry

Time: 30 mins   Serves: 4

-6 small carrots, or 3 large, julienned

-1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

-1 tbls olive oil

-1 tbsl curry powder

-salt & pepper

-1 cup of brown rice, cooked per label instructions

-5 radishes, julienned

-1 lime

-1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

-2 scallions, thinly sliced

-1 avocado, sliced

-2 tbls toasted sesame seeds

Sauce:

-1/3 cup of low sodium soy sauce

-2 tbls sriracha

-2 tbls rice wine vinegar

-1 tbls sesame oil

-1 tsp ground ginger

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-1 tbls smooth peanut butter

-1/2 lime, juiced

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Combine the “Sauce” ingredients together, mix well, and set aside.

Put the garbanzo beans in a small sauté pan with the one-tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Allow the beans to start to get some color on them.

Add the curry powder, salt & pepper, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Once the carrots have slightly softened, but are still crisp, remove from heat.

Add the garbanzo bean and carrot mixture to the prepared sauce. (Here I also added some roasted brussels sprouts that I had left over from another meal. Feel free to add other veggies to boost up your stir-fry.)

Assemble your plate by making a bed of rice, topping it with the curried bean and carrot mixture, and then garnishing with radishes, scallions, cilantro, avocado, sriracha, and sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF MARCH 2ND

03/02/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of March 2nd CSA Box Contents Week of March 2nd

Large Box
Beet, Red
Cabbage, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Collards
Greens, Salad Mix
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Dill
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Potato, Sweet
Scallions
Squash, Butternut
Turnip, Purple Top
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Dill
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Potato, Sweet
Scallions
Turnip, Purple Top
Small Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Dill
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Potato, Sweet
Turnip, Purple Top
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Turnip, Purple Top

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

02/26/15 — Farm

Race Course Garden Gallup 5k Race Course

There is so much going on at the farm these days, I can hardly contain myself.   First, this weekend, we welcome the amazing Kate Payne, author of the Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking and the Hip Girls Guide to the Kitchen, back to JBG.   She is teaching a class on the basics of canning, pickling, and fermenting.  She'll also be doing a demo on how to preserve Asian inspired pickled carrots and scallions.   That sounds amazing, and believe me, Kate knows her stuff - I learn something new from her every time.  My thanks to Kate for sharing her knowledge with us - for more info and to reserve your spot (we only have a few left!), just click hereAnd don't worry about the cold - we will be in our greenhouse with the radiant heated floor!

pickling-graphic

As an added benefit, all participants in Kate Payne's workshop will get to see our beautiful fields out at River Road (4008 River Road, Cedar Creek, TX - just 10 miles East of ABIA).  You won't believe how great it looks out there!  Sometimes, I can't even believe it myself, considering how small my garden was when I got started.  It wasn't that long ago that I was using every inch of my backyard (and front and side yards) over on Holly Street.  I guess you could say that my love of growing took over my life!  Check out this image of me from not so long ago in my backyard:

Brenton working in original backyard on Holly Street Working in original backyard on Holly Street

JBG's Certified Organic Transplant Sale Begins Saturday!

My hope is that these images will inspire some of you to start your own backyard gardens.  Who knows, maybe you'll get hooked like me!  But really, there is nothing like the experience of growing your own food - I can't recommend it enough.  Plus, if you have kids, tending a garden is a great way to connect them with the food they're eating.  They will carry this knowledge with them for life.  It is amazing to watch a transplant grow and produce food - clearly, I can't get enough of it!

For those of you inspired to start your own garden (as well as those of you who are seasoned gardeners), our Certified Organic Transplant Sale is about to begin!  We will have transplants available for those who attend Kate Payne's pickling class on this Saturday the 28th.  Then, on the next three Saturdays, March 7th, 14th, and 21st, our transplant sale will be in full swing from 9am to 2pm out at our farm at 4008 River Road, Cedar Creek, TX.  This way, when you pick out your transplants, you can have a look at our new greenhouses!  Click here for more info on our Certified Organic Transplant Sale.

Spring Hoedown & Garden Gallop on April 4th!

Finally, from the lead picture on this post, you may have guessed what I am most excited about - our Spring Hoedown on April 4th!  This year, for the first time ever, it will be out at River Road (this is just 10 miles east of ABIA - click here for a map).  Plus, it will include the Garden Gallop, a 5k race and fun run, AND a barn dance!  The race part is like a dream come true to me.   I love to run - I frequently come up with my most creative ideas while running.  In fact, I often carry a small tape recorder with me when running so I can record all of these ideas right as they come to me.  Later, at my desk, I try to transcribe my out of breath musings and connect to the creative energy that running brought forth.

Another reason I like running so much is that I see things from a new perspective.  That is why I am so excited about this Garden Gallop - my hope is that all of you who participate in either the 5K or the 1 mile fun run get to see the farm in a whole new light.  For me, it is the perfect way to take a tour of our fields.    The course will go through our 200 acre farm and the Farmshare Austin teaching farm right next door.  And, part of the proceeds from this year's Spring Hoedown will also benefit Farmshare Austin, the nonprofit that trains beginning farmers and increases access to fresh produce in our community.  So, I hope you will lace up your running shoes and join me on the Garden Gallop.  Who knows?  I might even run in costume!  To register to run, just click here.

Who is that masked man? Who is that masked man?

And, there's more!  The Garden Gallop is just the start of the fun.  If you're not a runner, I hope you will join us for the second half of the day.  I am super excited about the musical line-up: La Tampiquena & Mr. Will, Out of the Blue, Show & Tellers, and Gumbo Ce Soir!  I am so excited that this week I have been building a stage!  My thanks to architect Matthew Leach for designing it - below, you will see his drawing of the stage followed by pictures of it being built.  In addition to the live music, we will have farm-to-table BBQ and veggie plates from Iron Wood Ice House.  The dessert will be potluck, so bring your best sweet dish along to share.  One more thing: we're also sprucing up the old barn so we can all dance in there.  Truly, this is going to be one amazing Spring Hoedown - click here for more info and to get your tickets.

New stage as desined by Matthew Leach New stage as designed by Matthew Leach

Building of the new stage begins!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Building of the new stage begins! See if you can match this piece with Matt's drawing.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

AMPLIFY AUSTIN LAUNCH PARTY FOR FARMSHARE!

02/26/15 — Farm

Photos by Farmshare Austin student, Lizette Dahlgren. Photos by Farmshare Austin student, Lizette Dahlgren.

Join the staff and students of Farmshare Austin at Prizer Gallery (located at 2023 E. Cesar Chavez) from 5:30pm to 8pm on Thursday, March 5th for drinks & appetizers as they gear up for Amplify Austin's 24 hours of giving. 

We'll have beer from Hops & Grain & Real Ale, wine, & appetizers made with fresh vegetables from Farmshare. The gallery walls will feature documentary photographs of Farmshare's new farmer education program.

Come have a drink, eat some good food, & learn about how Farmshare is training new farmers & increasing food access in our community. This event is free and open to all - hope to see you there!  Click here for more info.

IMAGES FROM THE FARM

02/26/15 — Farm

Our greenhouse is full of activity.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our greenhouse is full of activity. Photo by Scott David Gordon

As we gear up for Spring, our greenhouses are full of transplants - both for us and for your gardens!  We hope you will join us for our Annual Spring Certified Organic Transplant Sale!  Here are some of the photos Scott captured of what's going on in our greenhouses.  Hope to see you out there on Feb. 28th, March 7th, March 14th, or March 21st!

Romaine lettuce transplants.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Romaine lettuce transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our greenhouse manager, Enrique, organizing flats.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our greenhouse manager, Enrique, organizing flats. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Transplants.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Kale transplant.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Kale transplant. Photo by Scott David Gordon

And, in our fields...

Spinach harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Spinach harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Just harvested spinach.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Just harvested spinach. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We continue to put lots of transplants into the ground.  Photo by Scott David Gordon We continue to put lots of transplants into the ground. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon
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