12/08/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Serious radish cleaning. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Everyone is trying to stay warm this week! We're asking Santa for some new boots and muck suits. We went to Cunningham Elementary School this week with the Sustainable Food Center + PEAS to talk farming! We chatted with Kindergarten to 2nd graders about different jobs on the farm, biodiversity, and what kind of veggies are currently growing in the fields. We got to see their school garden, and do a mindful tasting exercise with some of the kale and collards that their kiddos grew. See photos here.

Casey, our cheerful CSA Administrator at Hergotz, is bringing the holiday cheer this year. She brought some decorations from home, decked out the office, and also organized a little office Secret Santa. We are all feeling a bit more jolly after our employee holiday party last Friday. A huge thanks to Brenton and Tracy who both cooked for the whole farm!

Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Harvesting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Rainbow chard. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Green onions. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kohlrabi. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kohlrabi leaves. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

A muddy harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Muddy radishes. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Office decorations. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Casey and her decorations. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Stockings for the JBG team. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Carrot rinse. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

The volunteers pickin' peppers. Photo by Scott David Gordon.


12/08/17 — Heydon Hatcher

This week we are featuring Ian McKenna, a 13-year old kid gardener and hunger advocate, born and raised here in Austin. We first connected with him through Instagram, as he is very active on that social media platform and won one of our Market Bucks contests with his extensive knowledge of farming and vegetables. He works in conjunction with Katie’s Krops, a nonprofit started by another young gardener in South Carolina that has expanded to over 100 gardens in 33 states. Ian donates organic produce to local hunger relief organizations as well as to families at his school who could use the extra veggies. We are so inspired by all the work that Ian does, and the support that we in turn receive from him. He took time out of his busy school schedule to meet with us one afternoon this week. We toured his home garden and got to know a little more about this hard-working, community-conscious kid. Check it out below.

Ian McKenna with his home garden harvest.

How did you first hear about JBG?

I first heard about JBG through going to the farmers market! I saw your stand there.

You obviously have an interest in agriculture… do you have any ideas about your future career? Have you ever thought about farming?

Yes! Farming is one of the three careers I have in mind. The other two are meteorology and astronomical engineering.

If you were to encourage one of your friends to support a local farm, what would you say? Just do it. Support any organic local farm! Supporting local is supporting the community.

Why do you think that it’s important?

I think it’s important to support local farms so that you can get fresh organic produce instead of things that might be weeks old.

Where did your interest in all of this begin?

In my sister’s first grade class, they were talking about Christmas around the world and then one girl broke out in tears… and when the teacher asked what was wrong, she said, "Santa doesn't come for us because he hates poor people and we’re poor". My sister told me this story, then I immediately told my mom because I was so struck by it. I decided that we had to do something. So, Christmas morning, we brought a trunk load of presents and food to them. That’s really where this all started… that one family. It was a big family of three kids and they were living in trailer… after that morning, I thought to myself, that felt really good, what else can I do? Then I learned that most kids at my school got free or reduced lunches at school… so, that’s what got me started on growing food for people.

Ian getting his hands dirty at the community garden.

Who taught you to garden/farm?

My mom is the one who initially taught me to grow things.

How did you get your Instagram name, @wizardlizard2004?

I used to be really into magic and I love outdoors stuff especially catching lizards and studying them. We went to play MagiQuest and they asked me for a name so I told them "Wizard Lizard" because they were my two favorite things, plus I wanted something that rhymed and was catchy. I added 2004 because that's the year I was born.

If you had to explain to someone why joining the CSA is a good idea, what would you say?

I would say it’s a good idea because it’s an easy and convenient way to get fresh, healthy produce!

Can you tell us about your charitable work?

I’m part of a nonprofit called Katie’s Krops… it’s a national youth-based nonprofit. It started with a girl named Katie that grew a massive cabbage that fed over 250 people at the local soup kitchen. Since then she has wanted to contribute more, so she started this nonprofit! There are now over a 100 gardens in 33 states, I believe. She lives in South Carolina.

Are you a part of a community garden?

Yes, so, I have a garden in my backyard, and I also have a garden at Sunset Valley Elementary School. The food that I grow in my backyard garden I use to donate to the Central Texas Food Bank.  I bring the food that I grow at the community garden/school garden to food deserts, low income housing communities, or they get distributed to families in need at those schools where the food is grown.

How do you distribute the produce at school?

I have it set up so that kids that need and/or want the food can come by and grab some or they can harvest it themselves!

What’s your favorite veggie?

I don’t know! I like them all. Something that I’m really surprised that I can grow is the world’s second hottest pepper… the Carolina Reaper. I love spicy food. When I first got the seeds, it was the hottest. Now, it’s second. I also love tomatoes.

What’s your least favorite?

It’s not really my least favorite, but I don’t like cauliflower, because I always get my hopes up, and they always get eaten. More often than not, they are destroyed by pests. We are still trying to figure out a way to keep them out. Collards, cauliflower and broccoli are some of the pest-favorites. I like to eat them, but they are hard to grow.

Ian harvesting at his home garden.

What’s your favorite crop to grow?

ANYTHING. I really actually like cauliflower, it’s just been a frustrating process and it’s never worked out for me (at least yet).

Do you like to cook? What’s your favorite holiday meal?

Yes! If you count cookies, then that. I have a special, secret recipe that no one knows what the secret ingredient is. Even if someone tries really hard to figure it out, they still haven't. It's a really good recipe.

Yum... what’s your favorite veggie-centric meal?

I love brussel sprouts… most people are grossed out by it, but I think they are great. My mom makes a mean brussel sprout dish.

Do you have siblings? If so, do they help with your charitable work?

I have one sister. Sometimes, yes, most times, she’s just there being annoying like most little sisters are.

Ian and his sister.

Do you try and get your friends or schoolmates involved in your work?

I usually just try and spread the word. Most kids say that they don’t have time, but I tell them if they grow just one tomato plant it can make a difference. They are reluctant, but they usually get involved if I bother them enough.

Do you have any idea how to get more people involved in growing food or supporting local farms?

Posting on social media is helpful in getting the word out. Also, just getting out there talking to folks about what we're doing helps in interesting people.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you bring?
  • a mobile garden
  • a mobile kitchen
  • a genie lamp, so I can get three more wishes
A huge thanks to Ian and his family! If you want to follow along on Ian's ending hunger escapades in town, follow him on Instagram here.


12/07/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Recipe and Photo by Nadia Tamby

Need a break from sweets and cheese platters and general holiday indulgences? This time of year I feel sometimes overwhelmed with holiday parties and like to sprinkle in a few healthy salads for balance. Although, this salad (or variations of it) are actually my go-to dinner year-round. With a little prep at the beginning of the week, I can wash and trim the kale and put it in a large Ziploc bag for a quick salad any day of the week. I especially like that I can make a big batch of it and the kale is hearty enough to stand up to the dressing so that leftovers aren’t soggy. If you feel that the kale has softened too much the next day, simply add more greens or grains to soak up the extra dressing. Make a soft or hard-boiled egg and you’ll have a filling healthy salad to take to the work the next day!

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (optional)
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, ribs removed, and torn into bite size pieces
  • Assortment of colorful vegetables cut into different shapes (for this salad I used peeled, sliced raw Chioggia beets* and chopped yellow and green peppers)
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa or other grain
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Topping (optional, but delicious and worth the extra step!):
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil, but I like the richness the butter gives the nuts and fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons cashews or other nuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries or other dried fruit
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder, cumin, or other spice of your liking
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated cotija cheese


Zest the lemon and lime into a bowl and add olive oil, citrus juices, grated garlic (if using), salt and pepper and honey. Whisk to emulsify (the honey helps to keep the oil and citrus juice from separating too much). I like to use a Microplane grater for the citrus zest and follow up with the garlic clove – and it saves you from the tedious task of chopping garlic. This is where you could also mix up the dressing – add a tablespoon of tahini or a nut butter to make a creamy dressing. Add toasted sesame oil and grated ginger for an Asian flair. Finely chopped cilantro and a jalapeno for spicy Mexican flavors. The base dressing is so versatile you can play around with it in infinite ways – be creative!

Toss the kale in the dressing at least 10 minutes before eating so that it has time to soften. Add any other vegetables and grains. If you just cooked the quinoa or other grains, let them cool slightly before adding them to the salad (though its ok if they are still a little warm – they will also help soften the kale).

You can add any other veggies you have too, raw or cooked – it’s even a good way to use up leftover already roasted veggies. I find that sometimes I don’t have enough leftovers to make a whole meal, but chopped up and tossed into a salad, I can use up that extra half a cucumber, or grilled broccoli or roasted sweet potato (or whatever you have) from an earlier meal in the week to make a more filling and colorful salad.

In a small sauté pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the nuts and the dried cherries (and ground spices if using) and sauté until the nuts are lightly browned, the cherries have plumped up (and the spices are fragrant). This should only take a minute, so keep an eye on it. Remove this quickly and transfer it to a bowl as they will burn quickly.

Serve the salad and top it with grated cheese and the fried nut and cherry mixture. *Chioggia beets have a beautiful pink spiral pattern on the inside and are beautiful when sliced raw. When you cook them, the color bleeds into the white part of the beet and they aren’t quite as pretty, so I highly recommend eating these ones raw.


12/05/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Dec 4th

Large Box
Beet, Chioggia
Cabbage, Savoy
Carrot, Orange
Cauliflower, Green
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Red
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Onion, Multiplying
Squash, Butternut
Turnip, Scarlett
Medium Box
Beet, Chioggia
Carrot, Orange
Cauliflower, White
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Onion, Multiplying
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red
Small Box
Carrot, Rainbow
Cauliflower, White
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Dino
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Fennel
Potato, Sweet
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Cabbage, Napa
Carrot, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly


12/01/17 — Heydon Hatcher

From every hip Austinite on your nice list this year, to the home chef who has it all, to your mom who just learned what a kohlrabi is, we've scoured the reaches of far East Austin, the deep Hill Country, and beyond to bring you the ultimate shopping guide for your local-eating, farm-conscious friends and family. Keeping your dollars local this holiday season will not only support local businesses (who in turn, often keep their money local as well!) but also will make for unique, special gifts that will be used and enjoyed for a long time to come.

So happy holidays, and happy shopping!

1. JBG Veggies + MORE!

We couldn't make this list without putting some of our own farm gifts on it! This holiday we have more options than ever to bring some of the farm straight to your loved ones:
  • CSA Gift Subscription: Choose from one week to a full year of organic JBG veggies, delivered! We can think of ample reasons to gift this to a loved one besides supporting local: reducing food miles, getting more in tune with the seasons, try new foods, getting involved with the CSA community, having access to the freshest, most nutrient-rich veggies in town, and get to know some crazy farmers! Our CSA gift subscriptions are flexible and easy to redeem, plus you'll get to reap the benefits as well when you get invited over for that delicious home cooked meal! PLUS: FREE Home Delivery for all CSA Gift Certificates bought this holiday season! Price should be adjusted on our gifts page, but if you have any questions, give us a call! **This means that you can set your mom, girlfriend, cousin, BFF, or whoever up with CSA deliveries straight to their home for free! Home delivery is usually more expensive since we have to pay our stellar delivery folks to navigate Austin traffic to get to your neighborhood, but for this month, we are covering the extra fee! YEEHAW!
  • Market Bucks: Not sure what they want? Market Bucks are a fail-safe way to make sure your recipient gets exactly what they need. These can be used to buy veggies at market, on JBG merchandise, or they can save them in preparation for our Spring Transplant Sale to get their own backyard garden rockin' this spring!
  • Sponsored Shares: Giving a gift in someone's name might be the coolest way to support local businesses, local nonprofits, and the giving spirit this holiday. Donated produce shares go directly to The Settlement Home and SafePlace. These donations help feed Texan children and young adults with histories of trauma and abuse. Each donated share comes with a handwritten card from our farmer, notifying the recipient of their gift and thanking them.
  • JBG Merchandise: For some farm fresh digs, like our trucker hats, oh-so-soft t-shirts, or tote bags, head to our farm shop and check out our offerings. These items make a great gift for a JBG supporter, or local-ag lover.
JBG veggies. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

2. Home + Kitchen

Have a friend who loves design just as much as hosting a locally sourced dinner party? These two suggestions below are sure to please.
  • Kettle & Brine - A locally owned kitchen boutique catered to the consumer whose love for good design is rivaled only by their deep-seated love of food. Visit their beautifully curated store, and you will definitely come home with something for your chef-friend. Peruse their gift gallery here.
  • Mother of God Ceramics - a match made in heaven, Amanda and Diana have teamed up to create elegant and uncommon pieces perfect for your kitchen table and everyday life. Check their collections here.
Beautiful Kettle & Brine set. Image courtesy of Kettle and Brine website.

3. Artisanal Goods for the Locavore

Have a family member who loves local purveyors' goods? How about a monthly selection of steaks, roasts, sausage and ground meats, smoked meats and charcuterie from Salt and Time or a 3-month/6-month or 12-month subscription to Antonelli's Cheese Club. With this subscription you receive three to five seasonal, small-batch and hard to obtain cheeses that vary from month-to-month. Have a friend who's a caffeine fiend? How about some coffee from Texas Coffee Traders? How about the nonpareil preserves and jams from Stephanie and her team at Confituras? There is nothing that tastes better on toast.

Antonelli's cheeses. Image courtesy of Antonelli's Cheese Shop.

4. Holiday Libations

Living in Austin has infinite perks, one of which is the diverse spread of local craft breweries and distilleries. Treat a friend to bottle of Waterloo Gin, or better yet, a day trip to Treaty Oak Distilling’s picturesque ranch, where you can explore their wide-ranging menu of high-quality spirits. They usually have live music and delectable bites to boot. While you’re out on Fitzhugh Road, you might as well extend the visit to include the inimitable Jester King Brewery as well! You won't regret it! Grab a bottle of Barbecue Wife's Bloody Mary mix for that one friend who loves brunches!

Rather stay in town? Grab a gift card from ABGB. They sling some of the most delicious pizza in town with GABF award-winning beers to wash it down… not to mention, they are some of the nicest people we know.

ABGB. Image courtesy of The ABGB.

5. Giving Back to the Community

Feeling the need to give back to the community this holiday season? We salute you, and have a couple of suggestions if you are more inclined to donate to local farms. We have a sweet spot for shelters, too, since our trio of farm dogs are all rescues! What could be a better present than a new puppy? Chucha. Photo by Scott David Gordon.


CASEY (Customer Service Extraordinaire): My friend here in Austin makes these really wonderful waxed canvas totes and bags at Sivani Designs Shop. I also really like the Illuminidol Celebrity Prayer Candles as a fun gift idea. This is a local company, and you can buy them at Atown Gifts. I love these awesome Tater Tats: Temporary Vegetable Tattoos as a stocking stuffer. They are a woman-run company out of Michigan and 10% of all purchases go to small-scale farms! Lastly, a great gift idea for the family with small kids: tickets to the What's the Story Steve? improv show. This is an improv show for kids every Saturday at 10 am at ColdTowne Theater. There is even a dog in the show!

Illumidol Celebrity Prayer Candle spread. Image courtesy of the Illumidol Candle website.

ADA (Marketing and CSA Manager): All about the local and vintage accessories this year: Grab a one-of-a-kind hat from Hats What She Said, a Texas-centric patch from the ladies at Fort Lonesome, or this women-farmer-focused calendar from the Texas Farmers Market.

Texas Cactus Sunset Patch. Image courtesy of Fort Lonesome's website.

HEYDON (Blog Writer): Consider becoming a sustaining member of Austin Creative Alliance? Their mission states: "Austin Creative Alliance advances, connects, and advocates for Austin's arts, cultural, and creative communities in order to strengthen and protect the character, quality of life, and economic prosperity of our region." An important endeavor to back with the exponential growth happening in Austin, and the wild amount of performance venues being pushed out of town because of the ever-rising cost of real estate. This incredible nonprofit backs many different projects in town, a full list is available here to peruse. One of my favorites is the Mother Falcon Music Lab... a creative education summer camp founded and run by an Austin band darling and some of the kindest folks I know, Mother Falcon. It's truly an magnificent camp involving so many different people bringing so many different skillsets to the table... all the campers get the opportunity to perform at a venue at the end of the week, too! So cool.

If you are looking for jewels... look no further than We Are Ancients' beauteous adornments. Austin local, Mandy Lyne, is a wizard with jewelry design. Just the embellishment your loved ones need, plus part of the proceeds go to the ACLU. Looking for funky vintage clothes for that fun-lovin' stylish friend? Give Megan a visit over at Loyal Vintage (she's also one of our incredible recipe bloggers).

Signet ring. Image courtesy of the We Are Ancients' website.


12/01/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

By Ada Broussard

Week 48 has us prepping for our holiday party! A huge thanks to The ABGB for the beer and Skull and Cakebones for the sweet treats.

It has been a mild season thus far which means TONS of veggies to sell! This is perhaps our busiest time at the packing shed, with drivers and packing crews all working a little extra.

Believe it or not, we're already doing some planning for our Spring Transplant Sale. We've been busy looking at what worked last year and what our top sellers were, so we can get the seeds ordered!

We're in week four of partnering with the Sustainable Food Center's Farm to Work program. We had a great pickup at UT this week! Also, Casey, our Customer Service Extraordinaire, made a Santa hat for Chucha, one of our sweet farm dogs. Check it out below... it's pretty cute.

Fall greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Vibrant lettuce mix. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Cilantro. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Baby brussel sprouts. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Textures from the fennel field. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Veins from our collards. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Collard harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kale forever. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fennel clean up at Hergotz. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Chucha's Santa hat. Photo by Casey Wiggins.


11/30/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Recipe and Photos by Mackenzie Smith at The World in a Pocket

Photo by The World in a Pocket.

If I’m doing things right around here, Sundays are spent wrangling the goods from Saturday’s CSA pickup and prepping meals for the week. In the Fall, bitter greens simmer next to a pot of black or pinto beans while root vegetables, squash and/or broccoli roast in the oven. At some point a batch of grains like farro, brown rice or quinoa steams to serve throughout the week. By Friday, we have usually eaten through most of what I prepared on Sunday and I am aiming to clear my fridge for the next batch of vegetables from Johnson’s Backyard Farm.

This time around, the collards braised at the beginning of the week were sitting in the fridge next to Sunday’s baked sweet potatoes, damn-near begging to be stuffed into a pocket together. The last of a pot of black beans and a pack of goat cheese on the shelf below were enough to inspire me to roll out Nothing in the House’s dough, flecked with black pepper.

I recooked the beans with toasted spices here, but that step is entirely optional. A can of black beans works just as well as the last of your leftovers. Roasted butternut squash would pinch-hit well for sweet potatoes here, just as braised Swiss chard or kale could be subbed for collards. I used a bowl, about 6-inches in diameter, to cut circles that would be folded into half moons. That makes these hand pies big enough to grab and go for a well-rounded meal, though a salad on the side really seals the deal!
  • Makes about 10 medium-sized hand pies

  • About a cup of Braised Collards
  • One medium sweet potato, roasted or baked and skins removed.
  • A cup and a half of black beans
  • Whole cumin and coriander
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • A tablespoon or so of olive oil
  • Goat cheese
  • Salt
Photo by The World in a Pocket.

Dough Adapted from Nothing in the House’s standard pie crust
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or 1 c. all-purpose + 1 c. whole-wheat pastry flour*)
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks COLD unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), cut into slices
  • 1/2 beaten large egg, cold (save the other half to brush on top of the crust)
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water
  • 1/2 tablespoon cold apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Photo by The World in a Pocket.


1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and pepper. Using a pastry cutter or fork and knife, cut in the butter. You want to make sure butter chunks remain, as that's what makes the crust flaky.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the COLD liquid ingredients (Using cold liquids ensures that your butter will not melt--another crucial detail for a flaky crust!).

3. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour-butter mixture and combine using a wooden spoon. Mix until dough comes together into a shaggy dough. Form into a ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before rolling out.

Heat oil in a skillet add the cumin and coriander. Cook until you can smell the spices, about 30-45 seconds, then add your minced garlic and cook for another 20 seconds or so. Add your beans.

If you baked your sweet potatoes in-skin and they are unseasoned, add a pinch of salt to them as you place all of your filling ingredients within reach before you start to roll out your pie dough.

Sprinkle all-purpose flour on the counter and roll dough into about a ⅛”-thick slab. Using a bowl or a drinking glass as a guide run a knife along the edge of the bowl to cut the dough to cut it into circles. You can also press through the dough as you would with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Spoon a tablespoon or so of collards onto the dough, then a tablespoon of black beans, and top with sweet potatoes and goat cheese. If it feels like your filling is too much or too little for your dough, adjust accordingly.

Pierce with a fork and put your pies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper then in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.* Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400℉. Brush pies with egg wash and bake for about 35 minutes, or until pies are a golden-brown.

* If you want to freeze your hand pies for later, put them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet, then place them in a ziplock back and back in the freezer.

Photo by The World in a Pocket.

Mackenzie Smith is an Austin-based photographer and the co-founder of The World in a Pocket, a project devoted to exploring the world through the lens of a dumpling (and empanadas, samosas, runzas, gyoza, bierocks, pierogi, ravioli, katayef, vareniki, bao, hand pies, etc). Food-inside-of-food, yeah! Are we missing something? Email us at theworldinapocket.com with your favorite pocket story or recipe. Follow us on instagram at @_worldinapocket for regular updates!