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LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

JBG FARM TOUR THIS SATURDAY 10AM-12PM!

04/24/14 — Farm

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

A BIG REMINDER - THE JBG FARM TOUR IS THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 26TH FROM 10AM TO 12PM at our River Road Farm located at 4008 River Road, Cedar Creek, TX 78612.  These fields are about 10 miles east of Austin-Berstrom International Airport (ABIA) on Highway 71.

Directions to JBG's River Road Farm at 4008 River Road:

-Take 71 East approximately 10 miles past the airport (ABIA) -Turn Left on Tucker Hill Lane (at this turn, you see Shell and Chevron gas stations and a McDonalds) -Go down Tucker Hill Lane for approximately 1 mile; then, the road will make a 90 degree right hand turn -Immediately, turn left onto River Road; Go about 1/2 mile on River Road and look for signs for JBG at 4008 on the left

Please arrive on time so we can start at 10am and remember to register by clicking here.  The tour is free and open to all - registering just helps us to know how many people to expect.  Thank you to all of you who have already done this - we are looking forward to seeing you Saturday morning!  Make sure to wear clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting dirty as there will be some optional hands-on activities.  These include picking your own carrots and being part of a crop weeding mob!

For those of you who are CSA members, we especially encourage you to attend.  You will be able to see exactly where your produce is grown and who is doing the growing.  This kind of connection is rare these days for both the consumer and the farmer.  As those doing the growing, we love to meet the people who eat our vegetables and support the farm - it is an extremely rewarding connection to make for us, too.  If you have kids or friends with kids who might want to attend, please invite them to come along.  You're never too young (or too old!)  to start paying attention to where your food is coming from.  So, see you Saturday out on the farm and remember to register by clicking here.

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

04/24/14 — Farm

Krishna and Nellie check out the sugar cane Brenton brought back from the Valley.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Krishna and Nellie check out the sugar cane Brenton brought back from the Valley. Photo by Scott David Gordon

This week, I took a little trip down to the Rio Grande Valley - and down memory lane.  I went there to pickup sugar cane from an organic farmer, and seeing it growing in the fields  - and later tasting it - brought back childhood memories of Alabama.  My father, Randy, used to cut up the cane for us when we were kids.  This cane resembles bamboo and is equally hard to cut - my father almost lost a finger by accident over it once!  For us as kids, the taste was worth the risk; plus, we weren't the ones doing the cutting.  We would chew on it to get to the sweet inside and then spit out the sinewy pieces once the sugar juice was gone.  Now, I am envisioning taking sugar cane to the farmer's market so our younger customers can have a naturally sweet treat.  Sugar can also be used to make syrup - I remember this is what they did on my grandmother's farm.  There, they even used mules to power the press that pushed the sugar juice out of the cane!  These mules were harnessed to walk around in a circle and power that press.  Then, she would use what looked like a huge four-foot wok with a firebox underneath to heat that sugar juice up and turn it into cane syrup.  Once it was done, it was really good, especially on pancakes.

Sugar cane closeup.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Sugar cane closeup. Photo by Scott David Gordon

As some of you know, one of my favorite things about being a farmer is that it constantly gives me a chance to try something new.  I don't like to be bored!  Every season presents an opportunity to grow something we've never grown before.  In addition to the sugar cane, we will soon be planting a trial crop of papalo, a plant that's been likened to cilantro.  Given it's taste and tolerance to heat, it's sometimes referred to as the "summer cilantro."  In actuality, papalo is part of the daisy family and originated in South America.  Like cilantro, it typically is eaten raw and added as a garnish.  Unlike cilantro, it isn't widely used here yet except by adventurous cooks and professional chefs.  I for one am looking forward to trying it as are some of our restaurant customers.  I'm also glad this plant likes heat because it is about to get a lot of it!

We also have a trial crop of Chenopodium giganteum, or "Tree Spinach", growing right now that should be hardy enough to thrive in the Texas heat.  As its name implies, this annual herb is similar in flavor to spinach, but it actually has a greater nutritional value.  It's a relative of quinoa native to India that grows much taller than spinach and has beautiful pink-tinged green leaves.   I love bringing all of this diversity and color into our fields, and I will tell you again, the farm looks beautiful out there right now!

Getting ready for tomato season.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Getting ready for tomato season. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Join Our CSA and Help Us Spread the Word!

Given how well our crops are doing, I expect this to be our most bountiful Spring and Summer yet.  If you have ever considered joining our CSA, now would be a fantastic time to do it as we will soon be exploding with fresh organic vegetables.  If you already are a member, help us spread the word so we can get this coming harvest into good homes!  To sign up, please click here.  And one more reminder to come see the fields this Saturday, April 26th from 10am to 12pm during our farm tour (click here for details) - I want you to see for yourself how beautiful the fields are.

Arugula harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Arugula harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

There's certainly lots to harvest now, and there's even more to come.  To ensure we have the staff needed to handle this increase, we are currently hiring seasonal field crew employees to join us from now until August.  There's no way around it - working on a farm in the summer in Texas is hard work, and it isn't for everyone - or, maybe even most people!  But there are those like me who love it and find the rewards in it despite the obvious challenges.  Here is the job description - you can see what I mean about it being hard work.  My thanks for passing it along to anyone you think might be a good fit.

FIeld Crew Team Member:  JBG is hiring immediately and work will continue until the end of August.  The hours vary, but work starts early around daylight and 10-11 hour days are normal.

As a member of our Field Crew, this individual will work closely with the very essence of our business: our fields and our produce.  A background in farming is beneficial, but not required.  Good candidates must possess a very strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, and be punctual. Farm work is a hand-on, physical job. Individuals must be healthy and able to perform actions such as: repeatedly lifting 50 pounds repeatedly, kneeling, and bending. Individuals must have great verbal communication skills, must be able to listen and follow directions, and must be able to work in a timely manner.  Members of our field crew work closely with one another, so a sense of humor and ability to work in groups is a must. Spanish speaking is a plus.

Field Crew duties change frequently and will include, but are not limited to: transplanting, hand weeding, installing tomato stakes/cages, harvesting, field clean up.

This person should be able to work in the fields under harsh weather conditions. Applicants should be be dependable, punctual and have reliable transportation and be prepared to work at 4008 River Rd, Cedar Creek, TX or 9515 Hergotz Lane, Austin, TX, depending on staffing needs.

Work starts at daylight, Mon-Friday. Some Saturdays for half-days may also be required.  Hours will be approximately 40-50 hours per week.

The pay is $9.00/hour and bonus pay of $1.00 per total hours worked for those completing the full season till the end of August.  To apply, please send your resume to jobs@jbgorganic.com or call us at 512-386-5273.

IMAGES FROM THE FARM

04/24/14 — Farm

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our photographer, Scott David Gordon, captures the beauty of our farm, week after week.  This Saturday, you have the chance to see these fields for yourself!  We invite you to come to our farm tour on April 26th from 10am to 12pm at our River Road location (4008 River Road, Cedar Creek, Texas).  For more information, please click here.

Our artichokes continue to grow!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our artichokes continue to grow! Photo by Scott David Gordon

140424_SDG196702 Photo by Scott David Gordon

Rows of spinach.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Rows of spinach. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Getting more tomato stakes in the ground!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Getting more tomato stakes in the ground! 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

Tomatoes are coming!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomatoes are coming! Photo by Scott David Gordon

FENNEL AND.......?

04/24/14 — Farm

Just-washed fennel.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Just-washed fennel. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Wondering what to do with your fennel this week?  Check out these recipes that also utilize other produce in your CSA share.  Known for it's slightly sweet licorice flavor that becomes more mild as it cooks, fennel pairs well with lots of vegetables but can be intimidating if you've never cooked with it before.  All parts of the plant are edible, including the stalks, the recognizable feathery leaves, and the seeds.  Most recipes, though, focus on it's white bulb.   To see a video from the New York Times with tips on how to cut the bulb, please click here.

And why should you cook with fennel other than the fact that it's in your CSA box?  We commend you for eating locally and in season, but trust us, there are many other reasons, staring with the taste!  Fennel can be an amazing and unexpected addition to your dinner.   Plus, it's packed with Vitamin C, contains lots of helpful dietary fiber, and is thought to have cancer fighting properties.   So, give it a try!  Do you have a great fennel recipe you'd like to share?  Send it our way by emailing it to carrie@jbgorganic.com.

Carrot-Fennel Soup from Art and Lemons

Beet, Fennel, Heirloom Carrot Salad from Goodies a Volonte

Kale Market Salad with Fennel from 101 Cookbooks

Parsnip & Fennel Soup with Dill from Real Simple

Pizza with Spring Onions and Fennel from The New York Times

MOONTOWER CO-OP FARM SOCIAL AT TECOLOTE FARM 05/03/14

04/24/14 — Farm

moontower

Moontower Co-op is working to support and cultivate the local food and farm communities by serving as the regional food hub for Central Texas, and you can help them with their efforts by attending their next Farm Social at Tecolote Farm on Saturday, May 3rd.  Here are the details from Moontower:

So long Spring! You were short and sweet but now it's time to ready ourselves for the Texan summer. Let Moontower Co-op lend y'all a hand by serving up some good ole slow roasted brisket, honey-cream biscuits, locally-sourced produce, and small batch ales and ciders prepared specially for this event out on the picturesque Tecolote Farm! This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the Moontower Co-op and join up at our membership table as a supporting member of the cooperative.

We'll also be purchasing tons of produce from local farms to help ease the financial burden of widespread crop damage resulting from the hailstorm in early April. We'll have more local produce dishes than y'all can shake a stick at! So let's all pitch in, buy some tickets, and help support the wonderful growers supplying our local food and farm communities in Central Texas!

To further ease the transition into summer with our good friends at Tecolote Farm we'll have some local bluegrass musicians and massage therapists practicing their arts and cultivating our sense of good cheer and well-being! Representatives of Moontower's partner groups will also be on hand to tell you all about our common efforts to support local agriculture and community development. A full menu describing the food (everything but the biscuits will be gluten free), ales, and ciders that will be served will be released as the event nears. Sourcing information will also be provided.

So come on out to Tecolote Farm and let's continue building our food and farm communities!

Giddy Up,

Moontower Co-op

To sign up or for more information, please click here.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 21ST

04/21/14 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 21st CSA Box Contents Week of April 21st

Large Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Celery Root / Celeriac
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Salad Mix
Herb, Dill
Lettuce, Braising Mix
Lettuce, Red Leaf
Mystery Vegetable
Onion, Spring Yellow
Parsnip
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Celery Root / Celeriac
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Salad Mix
Herb, Dill
Lettuce, Braising Mix
Mystery Vegetable
Onion, Spring Yellow
Small Box
Beet, Chioggia
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Salad Mix
Herb, Fennel
Onion, Spring Yellow
Parsnip
Individual Box
Beet, Chioggia
Carrot, Orange
Lettuce, Braising Mix
Lettuce, Red Leaf
Onion, Spring Yellow

SIGN UP FOR JBG'S FREE FARM TOUR!

04/17/14 — Farm

The farm tour is coming up soon on Saturday, April 26th!  Photo by Scott David Gordon The farm tour is coming up soon on Saturday, April 26th! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Sign up now for JBG's Free Spring Farm Tour on Saturday, April 26th from 10am to 12pm by clicking here!  All are welcome!  If you're CSA member, I especially hope to see you there - and, please, bring your friends and neighbors.  I know so many of you work hard at eating seasonal, locally produced food, and this is a great opportunity to see where your vegetables are coming from - and who is doing the growing!  I also encourage kids to attend because I think it's really important for young people to have a connection to their food, too.  Plus, we'll have fun activities including harvesting your own carrots and being part of a crop mob.  So, be sure to wear clothes and shoes you don't mind getting dirty!

Leading last year's tour.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Leading last year's tour. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We had some crazy challenges this year - hail storms, flooding, drought to name a few!  Plus, after four years of hard work, we finally have the whole farm planted in vegetables and cover crop.  It has been quite a transformation to witness!  I was talking to one of our neighbors over there, and he remarked on how much the land has changed.  It used to be a quiet hay farm; now, there's lots of activity and vegetables growing everywhere.  My neighbor said he loves all of this, and so do I.  To our CSA members, I want to say thank you again because we really wouldn't have been able to do this without your support.  I hope you will take me up on my invitation to visit our fields on Saturday, April 26th.  Remember, bring your friends along, too - they should see what you had a hand in creating!  It's free to all, but since it helps us to know how many people are coming, please kindly RSVP by clicking here.

Our Greenhouse Manager, Lindsay, with the second result of the second hail strike.  Our Greenhouse Manager, Lindsay, with the second result of the second hail strike.

We got some nickel-size hail on Monday. We got some nickel-size hail on Monday.

Can you believe we got hit by hail - again!  That makes for two Mondays in a row.  I have to say we have been really lucky over at River Road - there wasn't much hail there.  Hergotz Lane got hit a little harder, but, all in all, it wasn't bad.  This time, we had already brought most of our transplants back into the greenhouse because forecasters were calling for a very late Spring frost.  There were a few flats of eggplant that did get hit, but the transplant damage was relatively contained this time.  Where the hail's effect was most visible was on the leaves of our broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage plants.  In fact, some of you CSA members may think a bunny or deer took a bite out of your broccoli!  I assure you it was the hail, and despite the holey appearance, it still tastes just as good.  It has been a bit of a roller coaster over here trying to keep up with the weather!  I was worried about the frost warning earlier this week, but, luckily, the temperatures hovered just above freezing.  Let's hope that's the last freeze scare of the season!  Soon enough, I imagine it's the Texas heat we will be complaining about... On the brighter side, this means it won't be too long until we have tomatoes!  On the agenda for next week is to transform 150 rolls of wire into 11,250 more tomato cages.  Our tomato plants are looking great so far despite the crazy weather - fingered crossed for the best season ever!
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