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TEXAS STRONG: HURRICANE HARVEY

09/01/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Photo by Heydon Hatcher Photo by Heydon Hatcher

It's truly been a week of tragedy in our home state, but we're immensely humbled by the ceaseless acts of heroism and kindness we've been hearing about and seeing on the news. Did you hear Austin musicians have volunteered their time to perform in shelters, or that massive amounts of Austin restaurants are raising money (find an extensive list of who's doing what this weekend here) to send to our southerly neighbors for all the current and impending recovery efforts? Our farm community extends to Houston; we have CSA members, family, restaurant customers, and friends that have all been affected and we can't think of much else this week.

What We're Doing:

We're sending donations of fresh produce to those cooking in shelters and for first responders in Houston. A hot plate of food can provide real solace in tragic time like this. Side note: did you know, we donate an average of 500 lbs. of produce every week to Austin area food banks? Our Harvey donations will be (at least) this amount, and we have major hopes that donations will exceed our usual weekly sum. This week we sent a few hundreds of pounds of potatoes and sweet potatoes to Royal Fig Catering who is using donated produce to cook hot meals for various folks in the Houston and Humble area. We're looking to connect with more pop-up community kitchens in Houston... if you know of someone involved who could use a produce donation, email Ada at ada@jbgorganic.com. Beginning next week, our driver Lucas will be delivering produce donations to several community kitchens who are working tirelessly to help to feed those affected. Our partners at Central Texas Food Bank will also be supporting efforts.

Royal Fig donations. Royal Fig donations.

We feel SO fortunate to come out of this disaster unscathed. Our fields were very soggy and our plants are a bit wind damaged, but there was no flooding or infrastructure destruction. Other Texas Farmers weren't so lucky though. How can you help: donate to State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund (STAR) or Texas Center for Local Food, and continue shopping local at farmers markets. These farmers who've experienced damage still may have product to sell and still need to make money (especially if they need to rebuild from the storm).

CSA members: one easy way you can help is to donate one of your CSA shares. This produce will be added to our donations and sent to the Houston Food Bank as soon as they're prepared to accept perishable produce donations. Thousands of displaced Houstonions are going to be relying on food banks for their family's meals for months to come; a fresh head of lettuce or bunch of carrots is a welcome change from canned goods and boxed meals. There are tons of ways that we can help Houston right now, and we think this is a pretty easy one. Every little bit helps, right? Join us in this small but important way to give our neighbors a bit of comfort [food]. Email the farm at farm@jbgorganic.com to donate! We will tally up the total number of CSA donations we receive and send produce in bulk to Houston. How does this work? We'll simply remove the last delivery on your schedule, and your subscription will renew a week earlier.


We know this info is out there already, but we thought we'd re-share some other ways you can help. We're no strangers to natural disaster on the farm, and know that anything helps.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Food Bank of Corpus Christi / Houston Food Bank

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center / We Are Blood

Houston Humane Society

Texas Diaper Bank

The Montrose Center

United Way of Greater Houston

Ever wanted a Yeti product? Full sale value of all products sold are going directly to Harvey victims today, 9/1. Find more info here.

There are a billion ways to give and help out... so let's get to it! Texas tough! Yeehaw!



WEEK 35 IN PHOTOS

09/01/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Okra harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Okra harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

What a heart-wrenching week. Our hearts are with everyone who was affected by Hurricane Harvey. Are you a CSA member and want to help folks in Houston? Donate a CSA share! Email farm@jbgorganic.com and we will get your donation down to H-town to nourish our neighbors.

After a soggy weekend at the farm, we've been graced with moderate temperatures and some sun this week. We are excited to get back to markets after last weekend's hiatus. Are you a sweet potato fan? You're in luck, we've got a torrent of taters on the way.

Beautiful farm sky. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Beautiful farm sky. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greenhouse gathering. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greenhouse gathering. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Drying up some of the rain. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Drying up some of the rain. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Montana working on the tractor. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Montana working on the tractor. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Harvest trailer hangs. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvest trailer hangs. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Zucchini harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Zucchini harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fields a plenty. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fields a plenty. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tons of sweet potatoes being harvested. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tons of sweet potatoes being harvested. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

That's one big sweet 'tater! Photo by Scott David Gordon. That's one big sweet 'tater! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

FIRST FRIDAY STAFF PICKS - SEPTEMBER '17 EDITION

09/01/17 — Heydon Hatcher

The arrival of a new month means another marvelous edition of our First Friday Staff Picks! We think that our staff is the best in the business (okay, okay, we are a little biased), but the JBG family hails from all over the place and covers the gamut in talents and interests. We love sharing events, adventures, and side projects that inspire and excite our JBG-ers (food-related or not) with the community. Check out the staff-curated list of favorites below!

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

Farm, in general: We've got three events on the forefront of our minds: Contigo's Pig Out Party this coming Sunday (9/3) from 5:30 until 9. They'll be celebrating the long weekend by roasting a heritage breed pig, charcuterie offerings galore, and all the yummy libations. Grab a ticket and join the fun this weekend. We'll be there with a little market stand in case you missed your weekly market stock-up. On top of all the fun to be had, part of the proceeds from the event will be going to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

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Grab a ticket to see one of the screenings (they start today at the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse) of the highly accoladed Look & See, A Portrait of Wendell Berry by Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell. This movie is an homage to the plight of the small farmer through the eyes and eloquent words of Wendell Berry. After moving back to his hometown in rural Kentucky, he immersed himself in the agrarian lifestyle and became no stranger to the struggles of modern-day farming. A beautifully composed cinematic masterpiece backed by heavy hitter executive producers, Robert Redford and Terrence Malick, to boot. You don't want to miss this!

Also, please note that the Farmer As Artist show at the Prizer Gallery has moved to Saturday, September 9th! Find more info on that show here.

Ada (CSA and Marketing Manager): Shout out to our amazing delivery drivers. Not only are these guys battling Austin traffic to make sure folks get fresh vegetables on time, but we're constantly getting emails of the good deeds they do along the way. I work very closely with our drivers (who all happen to be men at the moment), and am so proud to have these gentlemen represent the farm; they're a really special bunch. Special shoutout to Nate, who pulled over last week and extinguished a car that was in flames on the side of the road. Side note: Nate has several firefighters in his family, but never wanted to enter the profession himself and so instead perused work at an organic vegetable farm...

Nate, firefightin' superstar. Nate, firefightin' superstar.

Fawn (Farmer's Market Extraordinare):  With all the recent events, it's hard to choose what to share. Hurricane Harvey quickly eclipsed the Great American Eclipse. At my place, we lost two big trees and some fences, but so many folks are left with so much destruction. This week I dropped my daughter off at her first day of Kindergarten. Some of you may remember when she was born or when I was working markets super pregnant five/six years ago. I was the Triangle, Barton Creek, and Hope Marmer's market manager, and there was nearly a hundred days over a hundred degrees that summer. There's nothing like a quickly growing child to really show the passage of time!

Fawn and Nyah! Fawn and Nyah!

Lyndsie (Farmer's Market Manager): It's moments like this that make me happy to work for JBG where we can actually do something to help (in reference to recent Harvey veggie donations).

PJ Harvey is my pick. Give her a listen.

Becky (Farm Manager): I want to give a plug PEAS Community Farm and Urban Orchard at Cunningham Elementary. PEAS is doing absolutely awesome work connecting kiddos to the outdoors and healthy eating. JBG is a huge fan of their work. We always donate plants and seeds whenever we can. They have two volunteer days coming up in September one on the 9th: 9am-11am and another on the 23rd: 9am-11am (More details here) I will definitely be attending one and would love to get more of the JBG community out there to support the important work they are doing. Here is a video about the program. Hope to see y'all there!!

Missoula (Farm Dog): These animal rescues from Hurricane Harvey. Warms my wittle pupper heart.





Sarah (Volunteer Coordinator): I'm scootin' outta Texas this month! I'll be doing a Work/ Study gig for 9 weeks in North Carolina at the John C. Campbell Folk School! I'm signed up for two pottery classes and a weaving class, woohoo! Only thing I'm sad about is having to leave my pet fish, Shelby behind. I'm not worried about her though. That girl is a sweet fish with a bad attitude, she's gonna make it in this city.

Shelby, fish in the city. Shelby, fish in the city.

Casey (Customer Service Superstar): Well, my thoughts are definitely with my hometown of Houston right now, but I'm feeling very grateful and lucky that my family is safe and without severe flood damage. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to planting a fall garden this weekend at my home. My boyfriend and I built some garden beds, and we had soil delivered from Organics by Gosh. They are a great local company in Austin that sell organic soil, mulch, and sand. They also have composting & recycling services. So, after a whole lot of shovelin', we are all ready to get some veggie plants in the ground! My dog, Odie, is also excited about the garden and ready to protect it from all intruders...or just dig holes in it when I'm not looking.

Odie on the prowl. Odie on the prowl.

Krishna (CFO): In a stressful time, sometimes it's the little things that bring me joy. Look at this small tiny trash can that I keep my pins in. I just got it for $1.

Who doesn't love miniatures!? Who doesn't love miniatures!?

Chad (Barn Crew): I'm really into this video this month.

Heydon (Blog Writer): I traveled to Mexico City with an amalgam of some of my favorite folks this past month and upon arrival was so enamored with this bustling metropolis. Dang, what a city, and just a skip away from ole Austin-town. The food was amazing, the drinks were absolutely fantastic, the museums + parks were incredible, and my little plant-lovin' heart was swooning... so much beautiful greenery! If you make it to Ciudad de Mexico, give me a holler because I have the biggest list you could ever imagine on notable places to visit, but for now here is an abridged selection of highlights: Lardo, La Clandestina Mezcaleria, Lucha Libre at Arena Mexico, Casa Azul (a bucket lister for me), Contramar, Bosforo, and the Luis Barragan House. I can't wait to get back.

All the love to Houston and surrounding cities that were affected by Hurricane Harvey - donate time or money or whatever you can. Texas forever.

??????? #luisbarragan #35mm #cdmx #?

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CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT. 4TH

09/05/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 4th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 4th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Cucumber
Greens, Collards
Greens, Dandelion
Herb, Lemongrass
Herb, Peppermint
Melon, Farmers Choice
Okra
Potato, Red
Radish, Black Spanish
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Yellow
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Lemongrass
Herb, Peppermint
Okra
Potato, Red
Radish, Black Spanish
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Yellow
Small Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant, Mini Purple
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Basil
Herb, Lemongrass
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Red
Radish, Daikon Bunched
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Greens, Sweet Potato
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Red
Radish, Daikon Bunched
Squash, Yellow

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 4TH

09/05/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 4th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 4th

Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Red
Eggplant, Black
Herb, Lemongrass
Onion, Multiplying
Pepper, Serrano
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Red
Radish, Daikon Bunched
Squash, Butternut

GINGER SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

09/08/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Photo and Recipe by Mackenzie Smith

Butternut squash has been popping up in our CSA box for the past month now, and this soup has been on rotation ever since. A big batch on Sunday night serves as a base for something new at lunch every day. In the picture here, I poured my soup over a scissor snipped 6-minute egg and topped it with pepitas, chopped dill, and pickled green tomatoes. If you’re wondering about how this would play out with pecans in place of pepitas, mint or parsley playing for dill, and pickled okra pinch hitting for green tomatoes, you’re on the right track. Get into it!
  • Oil or butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 inches grated ginger
  • ½ inch grated turmeric
  • Chili flakes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 small butternut squash, peeled & cut into small cubes
  • 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Photo by Mackenzie Smith. Photo by Mackenzie Smith.

In a pot big enough to fit all of your ingredients, cook the cumin and coriander in hot oil until you can smell them begin to toast-- about 1 minute and a half (less if you are using powdered spices). Add onions and cook until they’re translucent, then add ginger and turmeric. Add a teaspoon or so of salt, and stir in your squash. Add a little more salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Pour stock over the squash mixture and bring it all to a boil, before reducing to a simmer. Cook until the squash is easy to pierce with a fork.

Blend until smooth, adding extra stock until you hit a consistency that you like.

WEEK 36 IN PHOTOS

09/08/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Early morning tractor tricks. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Early morning tractor tricks. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

We are in the craziest planting window for the Fall, and it's all hands on deck. We are planting huge acreages, and catching up from Harvey (so grateful once again for skirting any serious damage!).

We want to extend a HUGE thanks to our volunteers, they are a keystone of part of our operation currently. We could use as many as possible (want to volunteer?)! We couldn't be doing what we are currently doing as the rapid pace without them.

Tractor glamour shot. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tractor glamour shot. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Farm textures. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Farm textures. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanting and havin' good times. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplanting and havin' good times. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

At the helm. Photo by Scott David Gordon. At the helm. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Bees on a squash blossom. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bees on a squash blossom. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Harvesting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvesting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kale harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Kale harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

All inspiring beauty of that fall green, Kale. Photo by Scott David Gordon. All inspiring beauty of that fall green, Kale. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sweet 'tater harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sweet 'tater harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

OUR VIVACIOUS VOLUNTEERS

09/08/17 — Heydon Hatcher

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

This week, we want to take a moment to accolade and thank our immense community of hard-working volunteers. We are at the peak of our Fall planting window and simultaneously catching up from Hurricane Harvey setbacks. We absolutely could not be doing what we do at the rate which we do without all the extra helping hands that our volunteers have been providing. In the words of our Farm Manager, Becky, "our volunteers are the keystone of our operation right now."

That being said, this is a very busy time at the Garfield farm (which is where all the veggies are grown), and most everything is behind schedule. These next 2-3 weeks is a vital time to have volunteers, and we can use as many hands as we can get. So if it's been on your list to come out to the farm and try out volunteering, now's the time! Not only is it a good juncture to simultaneously get dirty and munch on some crunchy veggies, but also the perfect chance to make new friends and bond with pre-existing ones, too. You're sure to find interesting conversation whilst gettin' knee deep in veggies. Corporate groups are more than welcome, too! Slingin’ veggies on the farm with co-workers is not only a team-building experience, but also a good way to strengthen and solidify working relationships. The more the merrier for us, too. Tons of hands sure does get a lot done.

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

JBG welcomes volunteers weekly at either of our two Austin locations. The first being the Garfield Farm (4008 River Rd. Cedar Creek, TX). At this location, you will be able to do an amalgam of tasks... working out in the field, transplanting, harvesting, aiding in the seeding process, working in the greenhouse; all the while, learning tons about farming from the JBG agriculture experts. Want to be a farmer, or just expand your horticultural know-how? This might be the location for you!

Once our produce is harvested, we transport it to our Packing Shed (our second volunteer location) at 9515 Hergotz Lane in East Austin. Here, volunteers help wash, sort, and pack veggies for our farmers markets and CSA boxes. You get the farm experience just right down the street from the airport, pretty cool, eh? Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks (this goes for both locations!). Depending on the season, we sometimes offer an additional Friday afternoon shift from 1-6 PM at the packing shed. We are looking for help Tuesday through Friday every week at either location! If you volunteer for a half-day (8 am to 1 pm), we reward your hard-work for a share of farm-fresh veggies. YUM.

If you're interested, please RSVP through this link. You must receive confirmation email prior to coming to volunteer, and if you sign-up to volunteer, it is very important that you honor your commitment and arrive at the farm on-time at your scheduled location. Please note that due to liability concerns, all volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and sign a waiver before volunteering.

We love our volunteers! Take a minute to get to know some of our regulars below and why they love coming out to help us time and time again.

volunteer 1

Chris

Age? 40-something

Hometown? Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I've been in Austin since 2000.

Profession? I work in TV and Film. Be sue to checkout Blood Fest, a new movie from Rooster Teeth (local folks).

How long have you been volunteering here? At least 10 years. Since Lindsey was Greenhouse Manager and Pitters worked here. I was here when the greenhouse was over there (motions to old greenhouse location at Hergotz). Maybe 10 years? Maybe 8? Somewhere around there.

How did you hear about our volunteer program? Gosh, that's a good question. Some weird grapevine. Was there an ad in the Chronicle? No clue.

Favorite vegetable? That's a tough one. Oh gosh, I've had some really memorable yellow beets from here. Also, some very memorable melons.

How do you like to cook the beets? Like with any root vegetable, like turnips, I like to just roast them. I've had some good brussels sprouts from here too.

Why do you like to volunteer here? JBG is full of so many colorful, wholesome, and eccentric characters... and those are just the vegetables! Okay, but do you want a real quote too? I love coming here, learning about new veggies, and discovering new veggies. Friendship and fellowship, that's why I come too. When I see those signs that say "will work for food" - well, I'm really doing that!

volunteer 3

Zoe

Age? 25

Hometown? Concan, Texas. Moved to Austin in 2012.

When you aren't volunteering, what do you do? I work in the birthing community with moms and newborn babies. I'm getting ready to organize and teach breastfeeding classes. I studied food and nutrition (we all know this because Zoe cooks for us all the time) and breastfeeding is basically nutrition for tiny people without teeth.

How long have you been volunteering? It will be just over a year. I started last August.

How did you hear about our volunteer program? Well, I was a CSA member for a long time, and totally forgot that you guys even had volunteering. There was a spell where the CSA wasn't affordable, then I was really excited when I remembered that there was a volunteer program.

Favorite vegetable? What?! That's hard! I'm going to give a shoutout to brussel sprouts. I like them roasted, and I like them sauteed. I've even pickled them with red onions... that was really good. If you're going to put my number two on there, that would be sweet potatoes. Just one for lunch and i'm so happy.

Least favorite vegetable? Okra (followed by lots and lots of laughter). It's so slimy. I'm determined to like it, so I keep taking some home. Maybe gumbo? Everybody tells me just to fry it, but i don't want to.

Why do you like to volunteer here? What's not to love. All the fresh vegetables, all the great company, being outside (but not in the sun). It's a good way to be connected to your community, as cheesy as that sounds. It's a joy to be able to come out here. If anyone is on the fence about volunteering... just try it! Tried one location and didn't like it? Try the other! You meet the most interesting people that you didn't know lived in your same city.

Side note: Zoe is an amazing cook and almost always bring a dish to share with the barn crew for lunch. this week, she brought a delicious Algerian zucchini soup that was so fresh and good. Recipe here.

volunteer 4

Maria

Age? 68. I'm almost 69, but so far I'm just 68.

Hometown? I was born in Cuba but have been in the states for 47 years.

Profession? I'm a retired nurse.

How long have you been volunteering? 2 years. Started in September, 2015.

How did you hear about our volunteer program? My daughter and son-in-law used to volunteer and told me about it.

Favorite vegetable? Black Spanish Radish... I just LOVE them.

Those are usually on the list of people's least favorite, how do you cook them?  I just put it them in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I even tried to pickle them last week. Oh, and the okra! (Maria just shared her pickled okra recipe with us today, and now we're sharing with you. recipe below!)

IMG_8695.JPG

Least favorite vegetable? Aru. Agrula. Agrugla. What's that stuff called? Well, I eat it, but it's not one of my favorites.

Why do you like to volunteer here? Everyone here is so nice, and make you feel like family. You come here to meet family... not to just work and volunteer, but really to meet friends and family.

volunteer 2

Rebecca

Hometown? Derry, New Hampshire. I've been in Austin for 9 years.

How long have you been volunteering? Regularly? Since May, and a few times before that.

How did you hear about the volunteer program? Well, we've been CSA members for two and a half years. Whenever I come volunteer, I put my CSA box on hold.

Where do you pickup your CSA? The Mueller Farmers' Market!

Favorite veggie? Oh man! That's really hard. I could eat cabbage all the time. Last week I took home three bags of arugula and ate it all.

How do you use your arugula? In a big salad. My favorite dressing right now is a dressing that I make with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. I mix it with whatever other vegetables we have too.

Least favorite vegetable? Radishes. No radishes for me.

Why do you like to volunteer? I find it very therapeutic. This has been a really good way to interact with other people after a really hard year for me. I feel like a morning here is nourishing for the body and soul. There is a meditative bit about coming out here and just knowing you're going to be packing carrots for a few hours. I love the fact that over the past 2.5 years I know where about 90% of my produce/food is coming from. Coming here, I also learn so many new ways to cook stuff. It's great.

Anything else you want to add? Once I saw Brenton at HEB, and my husband and me had a mini celebrity freakout like, 'That's the guy that grows our food!!!! I wonder if he knows that he grows our food!!". My husband had a JBG hat on, and we waved really big.

Another resounding thank you to our volunteers. We can't say it enough. You are the linchpin at JBG, especially in these very busy times!

IMG_0736.JPG-1

It's with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our Volunteer Coordinator, Sarah Warren! She is off to study in North Carolina and we will all miss her smiling face immensely. We love you, Sarah! 

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 11TH

09/12/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 11th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 11th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Greens, Collards
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Lemongrass
Herb, Rosemary
Lettuce, Braising Mix
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Watermelon
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Turnip, Scarlett
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Eggplant, Black
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Collards
Onion, Multiplying
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Purple Daikon
Squash, Zucchini
Small Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant, Black
Greens, Dandelion
Herb, Lemongrass
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Zucchini

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 11TH

09/12/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 11th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 11th

Medium Box
Beet, Red
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Lemongrass
Herb, Peppermint
Okra
Potato, Red
Radish, Black Spanish
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Yellow

CRISPY SMASHED POTATOES WITH GARLIC PESTO

09/13/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Recipe and photos by Megan Winfrey

Crispy potatoes and rich, silky pesto is all you need for this easy, delicious snack or side dish. I modified this recipe from the Minimalist Baker, making my pesto with Parmesan and walnuts (and a TON of new basil from my mom's garden, thanks to all this rain). I topped the dish with sunny-side-up eggs for a no fuss dinner- deeeeelish.

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PSA: You need Tajin. Cucumbers, carrots, pineapple, mango, pomegranate seeds, citrus, jicama, apples, any kind of melon - all of these become next level tasty with a dash (or 5) of this chili lime salt. I keep one bottle at work and one at home and can't get enough of it! You can thank me in the comments below :)

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WEEK 37 IN PHOTOS

09/15/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Early morning transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Early morning transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

We are still playing serious catch up from Hurricane Harvey. We are full steam ahead and so busy planting for the fall that we can barely see straight. Come see us at markets this weekend and get your final summer melon fix while they are still around!

Becky working on new beds. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Becky working on new beds. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Makin' a run for it. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Makin' a run for it. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Rows and rows of baby veggies. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Rows and rows of baby veggies. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Making sure that everything will root. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Making sure that everything will root. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Water clinging onto a leaf. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Water clinging onto a leaf. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dragonfly details. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dragonfly details. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

A very full greenhouse. A very full greenhouse. Photo by Scott David Gordon. 

Growing fast. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Growing fast. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Last of the melons. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Last of the melons. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

 

BROCCOLI: FROM SEED TO MARKET

09/15/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Broccoli field. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

As we ease into the Fall season, this week we are taking a journey with the Brassica family darling, broccoli. We are going to travel from seed all the way to the market stand with this cool weather-loving crop. There is a meticulous and carefully choreographed convergence of two farm systems that makes the magic of broccoli happen out at the farm. The tillage team works out in the field readying the beds as the greenhouse team grows the broccoli transplants, and they come together at exactly the right spot at the right time. There is little room for mistakes, and our expert team has the crop coordination down to an art.

Market broccoli. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

SEEDING

Becky, our farm manager does the crop planning. Based on demand she uses average yield and weather information to plan how many beds of a crop like, broccoli, need to be planted each week. Once the weekly planting plan is set, she works with Kirby, our greenhouse manager to schedule seeding the transplants the correct number of weeks in advance. Broccoli takes 4 weeks from seed to be ready to plant-- but depending on weather it can vary. Based on the seeding plan, Kirby figures out the seeding schedule, along with how many trays and soil material he will need.

For the batches of soil, we order in pallets of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost (which we already have on site)... then we mix them! We fill the trays with that soil, a process which the volunteers help with immensely as the greenhouse is a volunteer-powered operation most of the time.

Mixing soil. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Then we seed. Some crops you have to hand seed (put seeds in every cell by hand), but for broccoli seeds, the process works very well in the vacuum-seeder. This contraption is a plate with 128 holes which matches up to the 128 cells on a tray. They hook a vacuum up to said plate, it creates suction… we pour the seeds onto the plate and roll them around, so every little suction hole gets a seed on it. Once every hole has a seed in it, then the plate gets flipped over, we turn off the vacuum, and every seed finds a spot perfectly in each cell of the tray. Magic! We can seed almost 100 trays in an hour compared to the 8 to 10 trays per hour that get done via hand-seeding.

Julian showing off the magic of the vacuum seeder. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

We then top the trays with topsoil, and put them out in the greenhouse to germinate in blocks. This is where our greenhouse manager, Kirby, has to do a lot of monitoring and watering of these crop babies, until they are ready to be loaded onto the trailer and transplanted into the beds.

Direct hand seeding. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Broccoli growing in the greenhouse. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kirby watering in the greenhouse. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

BED-MAKING

When we start the bed-making process, we usually rip a block of soil depending on what the block was used for previously. This process gets down really deep, creates better drainage, and makes space for new roots to set. After this, we usually disk the field. This slices up the soil, breaks up clods, chops up plant matter and residue so that it can be more easily incorporated into the soil.

Montana on the disker. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Next we use the listers, which start shaping the beds. It pulls soil from the furrows and dumps it into the center of the row. We have single listers and triple listers on the farm (fun fact: Brenton painted a picture of a lister for the Prizer Gallery Farmer as Artist show!). This implement scoops soil and keeps it in the center -- so we have the beginnings of a raised bed, albeit a very, very rough one. After we list the beds, we usually add fertility. We use the compost spreader for this which looks like a big red bucket wagon. It spreads the compost at an even rate across all the fields so it’s all very equally distributed.

Lister. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Listed. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Compost spreader. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Then comes the tilling. The tiller has tines (just like a regular garden tiller) which help incorporate the fertility.

Tiller. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

The last step is the bed-shaper which goes over the top of the bed and has a very fine-tooth. It creates perfectly smooth, perfectly shaped beds. It is the finishing touch before we go through and lay drip tape.

Bed-shaper. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Smooth bed. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Then Temo comes in with the drip-tape shanker. The drip tape lines are secured right underneath the soil. This is so it doesn’t blow around in the wind, and it also helps the water move osmotically through the soil. This is so that we get a more moist and even watering. Finally, we come through with the transplanter. We plug in all the plants on either side of the drip tape. Yeehaw!

Drip tape shanker. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Making sure the drip tape is secure. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanting, Harvesting, Storage, and Market

Once the broccoli is ready in the greenhouse, we bring them out on trailers, and load up the transplanter. Two folks sit on this machine and plug in the plants by hand whilst someone quickly hands them the transplants as they move down the fields.

Loading up the transplanter. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Working on the transplanter. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Plugging in the transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Once the broccoli is transplanted into the ground, it takes about two months for the plants to mature and ready for harvest. Once they are ready though, Vicente and his crew come through and chop off the broccoli heads. They are then sent to Hergotz to be processed for markets, CSA, and wholesale.

Broccoli growing in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Harvesting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Cleaning up the stalk. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Broccoli arrives in big white coolers or in IFCOs. We move them swiftly into our coldest cooler as these guys needs to be kept at 32 degrees to retain the highest quality. We shovel fresh ice on the top of the crops twice per day to keep the broccoli super cold! We try to mess with this crop as little as possible as it comes in clean, and is very protected by its outer leaves when it grows. When we are ready to send this crop off to market, we place them back into our big white coolers and dump more ice on them so that they remain cool throughout the day.

Market broccoli. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Then they eventually make it to your dinner plate! What an adventure! Come see us at markets this weekend and grab some of this wonderful Fall crop. 'Til next time!

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 18TH

09/19/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 18th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Carrot, Orange
Eggplant, Medley
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Kohlrabi, Purple
Onion, Multiplying
Pepper, Jalapeno
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Daikon Bunched
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Herb, Lemongrass
Herb, Spearmint
Okra
Pepper, Jalapeno
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Daikon Bunched
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Farmer's Choice
Small Box
Eggplant, Medley
Greens, Collards
Greens, Dandelion
Herb, Lemongrass
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Purple Daikon
Turnip, Scarlett
Individual Box
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Onion, Multiplying
Radish, Watermelon
Squash, Butternut

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 18TH

09/19/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 18th

Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Eggplant, Black
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Collards
Onion, Multiplying
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Watermelon
Squash, Zucchini

 

SUMMER DUMPLINGS

09/21/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Recipe and Photo by Mackenzie Smith

Last week’s CSA came with okra and Summer squash, two ingredients I know I’ll be missing in a couple of months when root vegetables and bitter greens take up the lion’s share of our weekly box. Keeping dumpling wrappers on hand make for an inexpensive way to fold the best of the season into a pocket that can be fried up and served with a tasty dipping sauce or frozen for later.

This recipe is nod to one of my favorite Summer dishes: okra cooked in bacon fat and stewed in tomatoes. For the dumpling filling, I stirred sliced, drained squash into the hot okra mixture, and added sharp cheddar cheese before folding the mixture into dumplings at freezing for later.

I get my wrappers from Hana World Market over on Parmer Ln -- and highly recommend a shopping trip to that wonderful store -- but you can find basic wonton wrappers at HEB, and those work just as well in a pinch.

  • 4-5 small yellow squash or zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 shallot or red onion, chopped
  • 1 lb of okra, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese
  • Dumpling wrappers
Photo by Mackenzie Smith

Remove dumpling wrappers from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Place sliced squash in a colander and sprinkle with salt, then leave it to and drain while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Cook the bacon in a hot skillet and set aside once it reaches desired crispiness. Try not to eat all of it while you make the okra. Add shallot or onion to the hot fat and cook on low-medium heat until translucent. Add okra to the pan and turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Spoon in apple cider vinegar, then add the tomatoes to the pan. Turn up the heat and cook until most of the liquid is reduced. Remove from heat and stir in the squash, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Crumble what is left of the bacon and stir it into the dish. Mix in shredded cheese before you start to fold the dumplings.

Place folded dumplings onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. If you plan on freezing your dumplings, place the sheet pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes before putting them in ziplock bags back in the freezer.

If you are cooking the dumplings now, I suggest pan frying them like Diana Kuan suggests, over at Appetite for China.

WEEK 38 IN PHOTOS

09/22/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Sunflower showing some love. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Updates from Becky Hume

We visited the Mueller's Farmers Market this past week to catch up with one of our most bustling markets. We are still in the midst of the busiest planting window for the Fall crops and catching up from Harvey. There has been a lot of machinery malfunctioning, so it's been a tricky week to coordinate!

Vicente is harvesting sweet potato as a rapid pace. We have a bumper crop this year, many are the size of footballs. Fa;; crops are just starting to be ready. It is very exciting to have radishes, kale, and soon broccoli!

Radishes at the market. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Mueller Farmers Market shoppers. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Eggplant oddities. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Early morning tractor work. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Baby squash. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Checking the scene on the transplanter. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Collard harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Preparing the transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Growing! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Lunch. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Zinnia beauties. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Landing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kirby getting the seedings into the greenhouse to germinate. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Ryan sifting through the motherload of butternut squash. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sorting sisters! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Ada getting a shot of Scott for this week's post. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Boxes going out. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: SCOTT DAVID GORDON, FARM PHOTOGRAPHER

09/22/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Time for another installment of one of our most favorite blog series: the Employee Spotlight! We hope that these interviews will help acquaint you with the folks on the farm who are largely responsible for keeping the delicious JBG vegetables rolling out, week after week (or in this case, photographs all the veggies).

This week, we are absolutely delighted to spotlight our staff photographer, Scott David Gordon. Over the past seven years, he’s captured everything from the worst weather disasters to the tiniest bee pollinating. His compositional eye is unparalleled in farm photography and we are elated that he has stuck with us for as long as he has. He travels from the farm to every farmers market to keep the farm community updated on all farm occurrences with an artistic flourish and for that we are endlessly grateful. We had the opportunity to venture to Scott’s studio in East Austin while he was in the midst of editing farm photographs to learn a little more about his life on and off the farm.

Scott in his studio at Canopy.

Where did you grow up?

I lived in Joliet, Illinois until I was 10, and then moved here with my parents.

What brought you to JBG?

I wanted to find some healthy food options after moving back from New York City in 2010, so I was looking specifically for a CSA. I found the JBG CSA and joined. When I was picking up one day at the Hope Farmers Market (the old location), I met Brent. I didn’t have anything going on at the time, and I thought I would just ask him if I could come out and take pictures of the farm. Then I did… that was on September 23, 2010 (almost 7 years ago exactly!). Carrie Kenney worked at the farm at that time as the office manager. She did the blog and everything. She asked me if I wanted to start taking pictures every week and get veggies as a trade. That’s how it all started.

What’s your favorite thing about photographing the farm?

One thing is once a week, I know that I’m going to be outside all morning. I usually get to watch the sun rise and enjoy the outdoors. I catch some fresh air, walk around, interact with people that work at the farm, and see what’s going on. It’s not always easy to make time for a hike, so I think it’s kept me sane over the years getting to go to the farm every week. I do a lot of walking out there, typically around 3-4 miles. It’s good exercise. Get my hands in the dirt, work on my Spanish, and learn about farming.

How did you get into photography?

I guess it’s just something that interested me as a teenager. Right around the time I graduated from high school, I started using my dad’s film camera, shooting slide film and it just seemed kind of magical to me. I started taking pictures more, and it just started to seem like something that I could do with my life. I really enjoyed it from the beginning.

Did you study photography?

I studied at Austin Community College, they have one of the best photography programs in the country. It has more of a commercial program as opposed to a more Fine Art based curriculum.

What is the best vantage point to shoot from for farm photography?

Up high. I try to stand on a truck, tractor, or trailer to get a higher vantage point, a wider view, or a different angle.

What are your five favorite photos and why do you love them?



This picture of okra and sky was taken on my very first day on the farm. I like the simplicity and beauty of it and am often attracted to somewhat abstract or seemingly two dimensional scenes.



I’ve always loved the atmosphere of this image and the body language of the workers which almost suggest they are about to wander into the unknown.



The composition of this image really appeals to me and I like how Christian is dressed and his movement.



Color is also something I love. These are there different types of beans in the owner of the farm’s hands. The reward for all of the hard work, a beautiful harvest.



When I saw this guy laying down irrigation pipe he reminded me of someone walking on a tight rope with a balance pole. I like the lines and the balance of the whole scene.

What is the muddiest trip to the farm?

The muddiest? Well, there have definitely been times when my boot was sucked off my foot. They get so deep in the mud. I have also been out there when it’s pouring rain, luckily my camera is pretty weatherproof. I kind of like bad weather though, that’s when you can get some really cool photos and neat effects in lighting. There’s been days when my legs really get a workout walking miles through the mud for 4 or 5 hours.

Muddy boots climbing on a tractor.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you at the farm while shooting?

A couple months ago I was shooting in a field, and a coyote jumped out and ran away. I’ve also dropped a lens from the top of a tractor and it broke… I’ve fallen into mud and puddles quite a few times. Nothing too crazy, though.

Any pro tips on getting the best landscape/farm photos?

Get high, get low. If everyone is taking pictures from the same level, all the photos are going to look the same. If you want something different, either you get high or really low to the ground, and shoot up or a close up of something growing on the ground.

I have gotten into the habit of scanning the edge of the frame so that before I take a picture, I’ll follow the edge of the frame with my eye and look for anything that’s out of place or something that is jutting into the photo that might break up the composition. Then, I’ll just reframe it until all the edges seem clean to me. The way I shoot and have always shot is with a wide angle lens and a macro lens, so I’m getting two completely different perspectives. I can shoot a whole field or I can shoot a tiny bug on a plant with those two lenses. I always shoot raw so that I have the most latitude with adjusting photos and getting the most out of them.

If I’m photographing people, I always try to get them to smile because people can get pretty serious when they are concentrating on seeding or whatever they’re doing. The line that I always say to folks is, “pretend like you’re having a good time.” It always works. Everyone usually smiles and when people look they are having a good time, the pictures are usually much better.

Scott getting the highest vantage point. Photo by Montana Stovall.

What are the tools that you use for your job?

Canon 5D Mark II, it’s 7 years old and very beat up. You can see how worn it is from hanging and rubbing against my clothes. This camera has been through a lot, it’s taken hundreds of thousands of photos. Also, I use a 16-35 mm wide angle lens and a 100 mm macro lens. When I’m editing, I use Lightroom to adjust and catalog the photographs. Editing is choosing the actual photos I want to use and adjusting is changing the actual photo. I use compact flash cards in my camera. I wear rubber boots because it’s muddy most of the time whether it’s raining or not (irrigation). I wear a hat and clothes that I don’t care about... I want to be able to lay down on the ground and not worry about getting dirty. I have a little pouch I attach to my belt that holds onto the lens that I’m not using. Finally, a knife in case I need to cut something.

What’s your life like outside of photographing the farm?

I work one other day a week for the farm. I do deliveries down to San Antonio. I started as a photographer, but soon after that JBG started doing home and CSA deliveries. I was essentially the first person to start doing home deliveries because I delivered for Whole Foods and Fedex for a while. I used to do that full time, but now it’s just part time. I like to try to travel, to see art, go to galleries/museums. I like reading and hanging out with my girlfriend. I’m a big collector - I collect art, books, and Native American stone artifacts like arrowheads.

I’m working on a couple projects currently that I’m going to unveil during EAST this year. I’m creating a website that will allow me to sell my photography online which will include farm images. All of the printing and framing would be done here locally. I’m also working on a podcast about art in Austin. I really want to learn how to become a better interviewer, and I feel like podcasts have always been really beneficial to me. I know a lot of artists and gallery owners, so I thought it would be really interesting to interview them about their art. Thus, I spend a lot of time working on building those up those projects.

I’m a perpetual class taker. I’ve recently taken a permaculture design course, before that I studied herbalism, while simultaneously taking an adult survival intensive course. The finale of the survival intensive was that we had to stay out in the wilderness for three days without anything. We had to build a shelter, and we killed a few snakes and ate them as that’s all we had besides berries to eat. That was really fun. Now, I’m in a Texas Master Naturalist class. So I’m training to be a naturalist. I’m learning about plants, mammals, birds, trees, and pretty much anything that you can think of. I’ve been volunteering for Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, too. I’m always trying to learn new things, and I’m very interested in the natural world.

Scott and his girlfriend, Lynn, in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Do you cook a lot?

I don’t cook as much as I should. I cook around twice a week. I do get a lot of veggies, I share a lot of them with my friends. I feed a lot of people I know - whatever I don’t think that I’m going to use, I spread the wealth. I definitely think that cooking is a great skill, and I want to get better at it. My favorite thing to make is mac and cheese, but I beef it up with veggies. I usually cook some protein with some onions and garlic, saute some kale or whatever greens we have, and then mix them in with the pasta and cheese.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I think most people who don’t know me are surprised to learn that I’m a farm photographer to be honest. I don’t think that there are hardly any farms that have a staff photographer for one thing. So, when I tell people that’s what I do, they are usually a little perplexed or think that it’s interesting and different. There might be photographers where farm photography is part of what they do, but I don’t know of any other photographers that are on the staff of a farm full-time. I mean, I created this job, which is a cool way to do it. There was a need... the farm has always been media-minded, and has always had an online following. so it only made sense to enhance the visual side of that. I was in Santa Fe 3 or 4 years ago, and was talking to a guy about being a photographer at an Austin farm, and he immediately asked if it was JBG. He knew my work! There are people all over the country that know about JBG and know my photos.

What’s your favorite and least favorite thing to photograph on the farm?

My favorite thing thing to photograph is probably flowers. Anything really colorful really gets my attention. I like getting really close and capturing textures of leaves and dew drops. The closer, the better. If it’s an interesting color, shape, or texture, that’s the most interesting thing to me. I try to get at least 4 or 6 different situations or scenes to cover. This is so I feel like I’ve covered enough material every week. Different areas of the farm, different people doing different things - I like to have as much variety as possible. I like going to the farmers markets, too and seeing that side of JBG.

Close-up beauty.

My least favorite thing to do is to capture the same thing over and over again every week. There are certain seasons where week after week, people are doing the same thing for months. It gets a little monotonous. I mean, there are only so many images that you can take of picking eggplant or harvesting sweet potatoes. I like looking for diversity. Monotony is very challenging.

Scott getting the weekly CSA box shot from his favorite vantage point. Photo by Ada Lisa Broussard.

What is your favorite season?

Whenever it’s not too hot or not too cold. That could be any time of the year, really...

What have you learned from your role?

I’ve learned a lot about farming, for sure. I think I’ve refined my compositional eye quite a bit over the years. I’ve developed a more distinct style to my photography. It’s not often as a photographer that you get to participate in such a long term project where you are shooting the same thing every week for 7 years. It’s not the most common situation. Usually you are just shooting one-off things. It definitely has it’s challenges. Sometimes you are shooting the same thing over and over again and you have to find a way to make it look fresh or different. You have to try to come up with an image that no one’s ever seen of that subject. It pushes you as a photographer to get more creative. I’ve learned how to push through monotony and try to find ways to look at something differently and make it interesting. In general, I’ve become a better photographer, and become more comfortable with my equipment. Also, I’ve learn to better relate to people who work on the farm and met tons of people as well.

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?

  • A good knife
  • A container for water
  • A good tent


Spoken like a true survivalist!

Staff Survey: If Scott were a veggie, what would he be and why?



Ada: Potato. Like a potato, he's usually behind the scenes (underground), but is as integral to our operations as a potato is to the American diet. Plus, like a potato, he has a thing with digging in the dirt. His rootedness to the earth and to our farm is what brings us inspiring photos week after week. Who can deny a french fry? Who can deny the beauty of Scott's photos? See what I mean?

Mike Mo: Watermelon radish - rugged masculinity on the outside, artful beauty within. Understated.

Heydon: Totally agree with Mike Mo on this one. Scott is just like a watermelon radish, for sure.

Krishna: Tomatillo, he's always behind the curtains.

A huge thank you to Scott David Gordon for his nonpareil work week after week, and for making time to talk with us! 'Til next time. 

BARN AND COOLER POSITION

09/22/17 — Farm

Position Title: Barn and Cooler Crew

Location: Hergotz                                                Department: Packing Shed                                         

Reports To: Barn Manager     Supervises: n/a

Position Summary:

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking a highly organized and hard-working individual to fill a position on our Barn and Cooler Crew. This individual will report to our Barn Manager, and help with cooler inventory, cooler organization, distribution packing, and other various barn tasks as needed. The barn worker will work closely with the barn manager, and wholesale coordinator to guarantee that operations and orders are completed correctly and in a timely manner.

Responsibilities
  • Helps Unloads 2 or more harvest trucks daily from our Garfield Farm into the coolers at our Hergotz Farm
  • Helps Maintains organization of produce in all coolers, and ensures that produce is being stored at the proper temperature and humidity; researches and trouble shoots vegetable storage technology when needed
  • Helps Identifies any quality issues and quickly communicates them to the harvest manager and appropriate departments
  • Helps maintain cooler and storage facility cleanliness
  • Maintain a clean and sanitary working environment
  • Wash, sort, and pack vegetables and prepare them for Wholesale Grocer Distribution
Qualifications

Required
  • No previous experience required, only a desire for farm work
Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
  • Willingness to work additional hours during seasonal peaks due to demands
Preferred
  • Previous farming experience
  • Previous warehouse experience
Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50 lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
 

Schedule: Full-time, Monday - Friday typically 10am-7pm.

Compensation & Benefits:

Compensation is dependent on experience. Expected salary range begins at $11 per hour. Permanent employees are eligible for Individual Health Plan benefits.

Directions for Applying:

Please send an email to jobs@jbgorganic.com with the following format. Following specific directions is the first way to impress us!
  • Subject Line should read “[Job Title]: [First Initial]_[Last Name]” … For example, “Planting Crew Coordinator: J_Smith”
  • Email body should be short & sweet - help us notice you! Ensure that it contains your contact information.
  • Attach three documents to your email, ensuring that their file names are clear: 1) Cover Letter 2) Resume 3) List containing contact information of two professional references
Thank you for your interest in JBG Organic! You will be contacted for further information if we find that you might be a good fit for this position.

 

The responsibilities & duties listed above are intended to communicate general priorities of this position, but should not be understood as an exhaustive list of all work requirements to be completed at JBG Organic. Farms require flexibility! We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

JBG Organic provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, marital status, or sexual orientation.

 

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 25TH

09/26/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 25th

Large Box
Bok Choy
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Dandelion
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Lettuce, Braising Mix
Okra
Pepper, Serrano
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Green Daikon
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Farmer's Choice
Turnip, Scarlett
Medium Box
Carrot, Orange
Eggplant, Medley
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Onion, Multiplying
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Black Spanish
Radish, Purple Daikon
Squash, Farmer's Choice
Small Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Onion, Multiplying
Radish, Watermelon
Squash, Butternut
Individual Box
Eggplant, Medley
Greens, Collards
Herb, Lemongrass
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Farmer's Choice

LAVENDAR LEMONGRASS LINEN SPRAY

09/27/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Recipe and Photos by Megan Winfrey

Lemongrass is one of the more special items offered by JBG, in my opinion. You may think that it's only useful in Thai dishes and soups, but I like to use it in a more holistic way. Steeping chopped lemongrass in boiling hot water for a few minutes makes a lovely hot tea, and infusing the lemony-citrus aroma into oil or water for cleaning, spritzing, and diffusing are both extremely beneficial ways to use this grassy plant. Packed full of antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, lemongrass has been shown to detoxify the body as well as build immunity. And as if you need another reason to make this spritz, it smells AMAZING and you'll be using it in every room of the house 24/7.



Lavender Lemongrass Linen Spray

  • 1 bunch of lemongrass, cut into pieces (I used a 2-week old bunch and it was still full of aroma)
  • 5 tbs. lavender buds
  • 2 tbs. vodka or witch hazel
  • 12 drops lavender essential oil
  • 12 drops lemongrass essential oil


Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the chopped lemongrass and lavender buds, stir together. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 5 minutes.

Put a coffee filter into a funnel or strainer, and strain the liquid into a large mason jar or small pitcher.



Bring another 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add to the herby mixture.

Add the vodka or witch hazel and stir or shake vigorously.

After the mixture has cooled to room temp, use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

You may leave any excess mixture in a closed mason jar to use as needed. Just shake well before using.

I spray this stuff on my sheets, couch, pillows, daughter's crib, rugs, into the air, and sometimes on my face. It smells that good.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 25TH

09/27/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 25th

Medium Box
Bok Choy
Carrot, Orange
Herb, Lemongrass
Herb, Spearmint
Okra
Pepper, Jalapeno
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Daikon Bunched
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Farmer's Choice

WEEK 39 IN PHOTOS

09/29/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Early morning rows. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Updates from Becky Hume

A misty week out at the farm! We are still planting like crazy. This week alone we are on track to plant another 6 acres of kale, 5 acres of carrots, 2.5 acres of beets, plus a whole lot more... Sweet potatoes are still bountiful. We are just starting to get some of the first 'Fall' crops. YUM! Volunteers are still in demand and much appreciated as we are finally catching up with our greenhouse work. Email volunteer@jbgorganic.com if you would like to get your hands dirty!

We also headed to Yeti last week to chat about our CSA program and Fall gardens. Thanks for being wonderful hosts! We can't wait to work wit y'all again.

Preparing beds and transplanting simultaneously. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Close-up of baby fennel transplants in the ground. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanter from Scott's favorite viewpoint. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Readying the transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Becky scooping compost into the compost spreader. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Laying out the transplants to germinate. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

A very misty morning to harvest okra. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

All the harvest protection since okra is covered in tiny spines that can irritate skin during harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

A conversation over collards. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kale leaf droplets. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kale harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Lemongrass harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Ada at Yeti. Photo by Alan Kahler.

Ada at Yeti. Photo by Alan Kahler.

HURRICANE HARVEY DONATION RECAP + JBG FALL OPEN HOUSE

09/29/17 — Heydon Hatcher

After Hurricane Harvey, we immediately knew we wanted to help, and the best way we knew how was - you guessed it - vegetables. A fresh head of lettuce or bunch of carrots is a welcome change from canned goods and boxed meals. In addition to donating a portion of our harvest directly from the farm, we also put the word out to our amazing CSA members to see if they would like to help, too. We sent out an email to our CSA community asking for donations, tallied up the total number of CSA donations received, and sent produce in bulk to Houston. We were shocked by the response. So many of our CSA family (and even some non-members!) gave over 300 CSA shares, totalling $9,507.50. This is absolutely incredible! Since that first week after Harvey, we’ve been sending donations to many different outlets, and have used our amazing community to find kitchens and pantries that are most in need.

Donations. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

In addition to the produce we send every week to the Central Texas Food bank here in town, we've donated over 4,000 lbs of produce directly to those affected by Harvey, and we’ve got many more to go. The need for help and resources will be ongoing in affected areas. So many families are still displaced from their homes, living in tents, and are reliant on kitchens for food. A massive thank you to all those CSA members who donated to this cause, to the JBG staff who took the time to wash, sort, and pack these veggies, to all of our community members who helped us vet donation outlets and coordinate these deliveries, and finally, a mammoth thank you to the volunteers like Eli and Lauren who drove long distances (multiple times!) to help get this produce where it was needed most. We have been floored by the kindness and love that has poured out of this community to help fellow Texans in need.

Places we've sent donations:

Royal Fig Catering who have been cooking meals for folks in the Humble, TX area.
 

Our friends at Memorial Villages Farmers Market helped us get produce to The Jesse Tree in Texas City.

Memorial Villages Donation.

Eli from the Wildflower Herbal Aid Group helped get produce to some pop-up kitchens in destroyed neighborhoods in Houston on her first trip.

On her second trip, Eli also got food to the Cajun Navy. They have a large kitchen and make food for delivery to spots all over Houston.

Eli with donations.

Eli also transported food to the Altruist Relief non-profit. Their trained volunteers have been responding to Hurricane Harvey with an extensive industrial kitchen, capable of preparing 100 gallons of food every few hours.

Lauren helped us get food to Rockport Relief Camp in Rockport. A camp set up by Samantha McCrary, owner of a local Houston catering company, after she learned that she had lost her business to the hurricane.

Lauren and her chariot.

The Houston Food Bank, who is helping reach many smaller pantries and kitchens, is receiving over 1300 lbs of sweet potatoes and over 800 lbs of red potatoes from us this week!

Houston has quite a long journey ahead in their relief efforts. Still want to donate? Email farm@jbgorganic.com to let Casey know that you would like to forego your regular delivery and send it to Houstonians in need. Want to donate time as a cook? Throw us a line and we will connect you with mobile kitchens that are still searching for extra help.

Boxes of produce. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Mark your calendar - JBG Fall Open House, October 28th!

This year we're going to have a laid-back and very casual Fall Open House at our Garfield farm on Saturday, October 28th from around 4:30 until sunset. Free and open to the public, this event is for our beloved CSA community and anyone else who’s had a hankering to experience the magic of the farm. We can’t think of a better place to relish the beautiful Texas fall than our expansive 200 acre farm. What a time to get lost at the farm, too, with fields galore laden with your favorite fall crops. Rows upon rows of collards, kale, broccoli, turnips, carrots, beets, parsley, cilantro, and the list goes on!

Fields of collards. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Have kids in tow? Good news, as always, this is a kid-friendly event! Have a kid who loves cars and tractor toys? Well now they can play with one in real life! We will have a line up of our handy dandy tractors for your kiddos to climb on and explore, plus our infamous and all-time favorite sand pile. Kids usually love our flatbed tours of the farm, too. We will be hosting multiple rounds of farm tours on our flatbed trailer, but if you’d rather stretch your legs, we will have maps for self-guided tours as well. A fun and interactive way for the whole family to see where your food is grown!

Flatbed tours. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Self-guided saunter. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Think: scavenger hunt, fall photo booth, contests, and more! We will have a yoga class, too, if you prefer to get your stretch on immersed in the farm fresh air. There will be a food truck slingin’ delectable treats, or if you prefer to pack your own picnic, be our guest! We will have a market stand set up for those of you who want to stock up on veggies for the week. If you are a CSA member and would prefer to pick up your share at the open house, we will gladly reschedule. Just email Casey at farm@jbgorganic.com to coordinate.

Future farmer. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sand pile shenanigans. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Yoga at the farm. Photo by Charlotte McClure.

Fall is a notoriously stunning time at our farm, and we want to share the beauty of it with you, our community. We want you to see, spend quality time, and create memories on the land where your weekly veggies are cultivated. Come join the fun, you won’t regret it!

Sunset farm adventure. Photo by Scott David Gordon.
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