‘Uncategorized’ on the Farm
Dear Urban Patchwork Farm Members,
I want to thank you again for your support and fall membership to your neighborhood Urban Patchwork Farm. By becoming a member you’re not just a bystander or consumer of local produce; you’re a member in a cooperative effort shared by neighbors who make local, community-grown food a reality in Austin.
It’s true, we ask more of our farm members than some typical CSA programs. That’s why we’re able to offer workshops, host harvest gatherings, donate produce to neighborhood families in need, and train more young farmers how to lead in the area of sustainable urban farming for the future.
Your membership and participation make a difference in your community.
This season nearly 50 families in Austin are participating in our cooperative styled farm communities. Now that Mother Nature has released us from the death grip of our record breaking summer (we’re still not out of the record drought conditions!), we can plan for our harvest and share pick up days you’ve been anticipating.
I’m looking forward to this season with you!
(founder, Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms)
Calendar and Scheduling Pick ups
Below you’ll find a calendar of pick up dates so you can plan ahead. If there’s a weekend you think you’ll be out of town, you can let us know in advance that you’ll pick up your share around 5pm on Friday just before the Saturday pick up. Alternatively, you can have a friend pick up on Saturday for you. If you or a friend aren’t able to pick up your share on a scheduled weekend, we’ll donate your share to a local food assistance program so a family in need can have some much needed fresh veggies.
As a reminder, each share is intended to provide you with generous portions of organically grown local veggies to eat over the course of a couple weeks, with the following exceptions:
- The first two share pick ups (Oct 29th and Nov 5th) are a split of a special harvest – the 1/2 available on Oct. 29th will be locally baked goods, eggs and veggies harvested from the farm plots. The second 1/2 (to be picked up on Nov. 5th) will be special wild harvests and preserved foods that we’re very excited about. It will include a workshop and extra recipes.
- December will have three pick ups in a row of moderately sized shares to accommodate for the fact that many families go out of town during the extended school holiday period. The fields and farmers will enjoy the rest, as well. All of this is reflected in the calendar below which is sized so you can print it for your fridge.
Scheduling Your Member Volunteer Hours
Your role as an active member of a community farm is critical. Likewise, we know you’ll enjoy the value and opportunity in spending time with your fellow farm members and volunteers. Some of you have already completed your eight hours of requested volunteer time helping us in the field or on administrative tasks, and we’ve had so much fun together!
There are many easy activities during the next five months for which we need help in order to keep things running smoothly. We’ve always got fun field work, but if something different suits you, we need folks to help take a shift giving out shares during the Saturday morning pick ups. If that sounds like a way you’d like to complete your two volunteer shifts, it would be a huge help! Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask us about options and to schedule your two volunteer shifts. Thank you!
What’s in a Share and Where to Pick Up?
We anticipate this coming season to be special and abundant. Thanks to the Texas Cottage Food Bill we are now able to offer fresh baked goods, dried herbs and veggies, and canned jellies and preserves. These things can be eaten immediately or saved in your pantry for the weeks when there is no fresh harvest! In our ongoing effort to balance the desire to provide food year-round with the need to follow Mother Nature’s patterns and let the soil rest, this is a very exciting change to our previous efforts providing only fresh/perishable vegetables.
Each share should have approximately 5-8 different types of things to eat. We’ll aim for at least two servings of each. On weeks of harsh weather we’ll keep you posted and may make shares smaller. At a later date we’ll add more to your shares to balance the sizes throughout the season. If the weather or a major event causes us to cancel a share pick up day, we’ll make sure to add one to the end of the season calendar so you don’t miss out.
When you receive your shares you’re invited to take a look and ask us questions. If there’s something you want to swap out for more of something else, we’ll have a trade table where you can leave things you don’t want and pick up something new. We’ll provide several recipes each week, and we want you to share yours with us! At the end of the season we can compile them and create a special recipe book to chronicle how we all ate our seasonal goods.
Pick up times are from 9am – 11am on the Saturdays marked on your calendar below.
Violet Crown Neighborhood Farm members pick up at the 6701 Burnet Rd Market. Map and vendor location can be found here.
Cherrywood Neighborhood Farm members pick up at the home of Sue White, a farm landowner-member and member of the CNA Urban Farm task force. Location to be emailed to Cherrywood Farm Members
A harvest celebration is always something that gives us pause for reflection on the farm. This season I don’t know where to start thinking of what an amazing year we have had together since last Thanksgiving when UP was just rolling out our first farm harvests.
A year later, the word “abundance” barely describes the outpouring of community support and involvement we have been honored to receive. This Thanksgiving, my gratitude goes out to you all.
For everyone traveling, harvesting, eating, resting, spending time with others or spending some much needed time alone, I hope you enjoy your week, stay safe and warm, and please accept our unending thanks.
~ Your Farmers at Urban Patchwork
You’re Invited To Party Down With Urban Patchwork!
Hosted by our neighbors Astra Gordon and Stephen Andrews. Astra and Stephen are connected with the wellness community that serves Crestview, Brentwood and nearby neighborhoods. A whole body/mind/spirit view of wellness is a big part of what inspired us to start this farm. We thank Astra and Stephen for their support in hosting a party/fundraiser for us and we look forward to encouraging wellness together with our neighbors!
Please join us for an outdoor movie under the stars with lots of food and festivities in support of Urban Patchwork, urban Community Supported Agriculture committed to fresh food and community.
Saturday at 7:00pm till Late
||5703 Chesterfield Ave. Austin, TX. 78752
In addition to a movie, much fun and good company there will also be drinks, farm food, a raffle and a silent auction!
Urban Patchwork is a neighborhood-based organization providing safe, fresh, local produce and eggs while helping farmers establish a solid living that helps their families and our local economy thrive. This gathering is a time for friends and neighbors of Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms to hosting a benefit party to help the farm continue it’s mission.
So, please come by. Attendance is donation based, and all proceeds will go to support Urban Patchwork. http://www.urbanpatchwork.org/
We hope to see you there!!
~Astra and Stephen
Fun this Saturday night now has a twist.
Head out to Lucky Lounge to support urban community farming with Bacardi Limon, B.I.N.G.O., and More Cow Bell!
Tell your friends! Post and share! …
Play bingo to win prizes from local restaurants and businesses, win urban farming classes, buy your holiday gifts early (for that someone who has everything!) and let loose.
~ Bingo with Farmer Paige of Urban Patchwork and Farmer Rachel of FOOGS! ~
Playing raises money to start new neighborhood farms in Austin.
9:30pm – close
~ Purchase meaningful holiday gift sponsorships for your friends and family ~
Donations benefit community-based farming and training throughout Austin.
10pm – close
~ Let loose with More Cow Bell! ~
Drink specials benefit the community farms.
Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms brings food production and a food culture back to our cities. Urban farmers work alongside neighbors to produce local, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and eggs right in the city using methods that build community, reduce costs, restore the environment and provide an abundance of safe, fresh food for everyone. Visit www.urbanpatchwork.org to learn more.
The Fall season is upon us!
Please join us this coming weekend on Sunday, October 17th from 3-5pm in Brentwood Park (by the kids playground) for the Crestview Area Farm’s seasonal Potluck and veggie swap. (*Note: The Crestview Area Farm encompasses Crestview, Brentwood and Wooten – all are invited!)
The Urban Patchwork Sunday Community Gathering will be a recurring event this fall featuring recipe swaps, veggie swaps, food making workshops (Composting workshops coming in November!), seasonal potlucks, kids activities, and a farm stand with seasonal veggies and plants for sale (when available) all in the name of a love of hyper-local food grown by-|.with.|-for our neighborhood.
The Potluck (Oct 17)
This coming Sunday — October 17th, 2010 we will be hosting a community potluck. Please bring a seasonal home cooked/baked/made dish and 10 copies of your recipe to share. A list of “what’s in season” right now can be found at www.urbanpatchwork.org/ The potluck will begin shortly after 3pm.
What to bring…
* Food! Bring a seasonal dish to share, enough for 4-5 people
* 10 Copies of your recipe to share with others
* A cup, a plate and a fork — please, bring re-usable plates and such from home. We do NOT want to throw anything away if we can help it. We will have a wash station and compost station so you can rinse your plates and such before you head home.
* A chair, a banket — something to sit on.
* Smiles and a willingness to meet some neighbors you never knew you had!
A special note to neighborhood growers and gardeners…
We will have a weekly veggie swap table at our Sunday gatherings. Please bring any surplus food that you may have grown during the week and trade with some neighbors who have done the same. At the end of the gathering the remaining veggies will be donated to a few of our neighbors in need or to the Mobile Loaves and Fishes pantry in the neighborhood.
Who are we?
At the moment, we are Paige Hill (Executive Director), Keith McDorman (Farm Manager) and Michelle Perry (Community Cultivator). We work together, with all of our friends and supporters in the neighborhood, to cultivate the power of community to make fresh, local food accessible on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis. We have started here in Crestview, Brentwood and Wooten. We are developing a system for urban agriculture using underutilized space (especially front and back yard lawns converted to veggie gardens and chicken ranges) to train up a fleet of urban farmers to grow food right here in our very neighborhoods. We are out to teach Austin to grow food here where we are, for ourselves.
Our “Seasonal Supporters”
The existence of Urban Patchwork, the Sunday Community gatherings, and the urban farm in Crestview|Brentwood|Wooten are all very dear to our heart and the fuel of our passion. None of it would be possible save for the gracious and loving support of our Seasonal Supporters. They are a small group from these neighborhoods who have supported us in what we do – financially among other supports. THANK YOU — to all of our lovely beautiful kind and generous seasonal supporters!
At the moment, our full harvest of vegetables and eggs is for our Seasonal Supporters. As soon as we thoroughly fulfill our promise of food to them, we will offer vegetables and eggs for sale at our Sunday Community Gatherings (so stay tuned!). The sale of food and plants is just one of the many ways that we bring in the funds needed to continue on in our endeavors to cultivate relationships and community in this neighborhood, and to develop methods of urban farming that will help our farmers feed our neighborhoods.
Thanks for reading, I hope to see you Sunday October 17th in Brentwood park at 3:00 pm.
Sorry for the short notice, but we just scheduled and emergency bee rescue in the neighborhood that we’re sure our neighbors will want to know about!
If you’re interested in bees, bee safety, honey, having your own hive, how bees exist in the urban setting, and what it’s like to live alongside honeybees, this is a rare chance to get a crash course.
Because, rescuing and building new hives is an expensive operation, we’re asking a suggested donation of $5 per observer to support the generous efforts of the beekeeper and as a compliment to the church for choosing to rescue the bees rather than exterminate them. (If you would like to donate but cannot attend, you can donate through the PayPal link on the right, and we’ll pass 100% of your donation on to the beekeeper for his efforts.)
Where: First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Avenue 78756
When: Saturday, Aug 28th, from 08:00 to 11:00
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Honeybees have seen a sharp decline in populations world-wide in recent years due to poor habitat management by humans and the subsequent spreads of diseases and unexplained ailments.
But, bees are making a comeback thanks to dedicated beekeepers who rescue healthy hives and relocate them to habitat that supports them.
This Saturday morning we’ll watch a very skilled beekeeper rescue an endangered hive that has existed inside the walls of the church for a few years.
Important Safety Notes:
- The bees are expected to be docile, but it’s always wise to be alert and careful when working with wildlife.
- Please arrive on time so we can discuss safety with everyone.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, close toed shoes, and keep long hair pulled back.
- DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO BEES (We will have waivers for everyone to sign.)
- Listen to ALL instructions given by the beekeeper and be attentive so as not to miss something he says.
- Children should be in calm spirits and be attentive to their parents’ instructions or should be removed to a safe distance for their own safety as well as the safety of others around them.
SPECIAL THANKS! to Texas DPS Credit Union, Hoover’s Cooking, Clif Bar and Houndstooth Coffee for sponsoring our refreshments!
This Saturday we’re adding four new farms to the Crestview/Brentwood neighborhood farm and teaching about deep mulch gardening. We need help!
The fall vegetable season is here, so come learn what you can plant, too! We invite you to join us spreading mulch, planting potatoes, learning a bit and sharing the fun with friends and farmers.
Join members of Austin Growers Guild, FOOGs.org, KP Project and friends from throughout Austin.
Come help us Grow UP!
- Saturday, August 21, 2010 RSVP on Facebook!
- 8:00am – Noonish (Then we party with potatoes! The BBQ will be going.)
- 5608 Joe Sayers, 78757
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Any questions? Email email@example.com or call 512-662-1854.
== Important Notes for All Events ==
For all farm activities, here is how you can be prepared:
* Bathroom facilities are limited/unavailable. Please use the restroom before you come.
* It is wise to wear long pants and a light long sleeve shirt.
* Honestly, cover your body from: the sun, the plants, the bugs (i.e. the incessant mosquitoes).
* Always wear a hat.
* Gloves are kind to your hands.
* Sunblock keeps sunburn at bay.
* Water is a must. Bring a bottle of/for water.
* A packed lunch/snack will hit the spot and keep you going.
Fig Jelly is Delicious
As you may remember, a couple weeks ago I demonstrated how to can (or more properly called jar) fig – cayenne pepper jelly. It worked out great for my first jelly. It is delicious!
Many thanks to all who came, and especially to Katherine Patton of 2Chicks Farmstead. She demo’d a delicious Lemon Zucchini Jam, and the recipe is right here.
Lemon Zucchini Jam
1 pound green zucchini – they shouldn’t be more than 6 or 7 inches in length
3 lemons – approximately 3/4 pound (organic if you can)
6 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon basil (or lemon verbena or lemon balm)
pint or smaller mason jars
yield – approximately 4 pints (you can double easily)
1. trim ends from zucchini & grate coarsely. quarter the lemons, remove the pits & slice as thin as you can. measure this – it will be approximately 1 & 1/2 quarts, place in a non-reactive pot (stainless steel or enameled iron only). add an equal amount of water. bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
2. let cool. cover & let sit over night at room temperature.
1. place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer for testing the set
2. bring the squash/lemon mixture to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.
3. as the mixture is boiling, fill your canner with water & clean jars and turn the heat on medium low. you will not need to sterilize the jars as this jam is hot water bath processed for 10 minutes.
4. after 5 minutes of boiling begin to add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time. letting the mixture come back to the boil each time before adding the next 1/2 cup.
5. once all the sugar is in the pot boil until sufficiently set. this took approximately 10 minutes for me.
6. while the jam is boiling, chiffonade the herb.
7. when you think it is set (or around 10 minutes) take the pot off the heat, place a spoonful on a frozen plate and put back in freezer for about 30 seconds. run your finger through, if it wrinkles under your finger then it has reached the jelling point. if it doesn’t, put the pot back on and try again in another minute, and so on.
8. once it has reached the jell point, boil for 1 full minute.
9. take off heat, add the lemon basil and stir. let stand for 5 minutes. stir gently a couple of times during this 5 minutes.
10. fill hot jars and hot water bath process for 10 minutes.
It’s a Happy Hour!!!
Come gather with young urban farmers and get to know some of the folks who make fresh local food happen every day, right here in Austin. Ask veggie questions, learn about what’s coming this fall, sign up to help on the farms, and see where farming is headed in the near future.
Urban Patchwork is proud to be a part of the Austin Growers Guild; Austin’s newest and craziest bunch of urban farmers. We’ll be at Houndstooth Coffee for a few snacks, drinks, and great conversation. We’re a wild and fanciful bunch of farmers, gardeners and grew-peas (groupies?) and we’d love to meet you!
If you are looking to volunteer, network or find training opportunities on local farms with urban farmers, or if you just want to learn how to grow your own veggies, this is the place to be; these are the people to know.
Houndstooth serves coffee, wine, beer and snacks! Bring a friend, bring your appetite and thirst, and we’ll see you this Friday!
Hope to see you there!
The week itself is not over, but the effort en-masse has come to a close. I’d like to thank everybody who was able to make it out and lend a hand this week as we got so much more done than Paige and I would have been able to do alone.
And we should celebrate, because we cleaned up what we wanted to clean up! The shed has been cleaned up and organized, with a place for our tools and the tools in their place. And the main driveway has been cleared out opening up the option of moving both the airstream and the tiny house to new locations on the property so that we have plenty of room to prepare the back 40 for the soon coming construction of yurts.
Once again, thank you so much for coming out and helping get this thing done! We have a long way to go still, but this is the glory of farming, we are ever growing and ever moving. Life is always interesting and the work is forever gratifying.
Keep an eye out because starting next week we’ll be expanding the farm and getting started on a few more sites. We’d love to see you again and would very much enjoy working with you to keep on trucking.