Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

East Austin Urban Farm Tour of 2011 April 22, 2011

Last Sunday, I participated in the East Austin Urban Farm Tour, benefiting the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.   I met Kristi at Hausbar Farms, but arrived a bit early to  hang out with my friends from Bola Pizza and take some pictures of the farm.  Hausbar is a relatively new farm, one of three properties owned by the owners  Eastside Cafe.   The two properties and the land surrounding the restaurant, grow approximately 85% of the produce used at Eastside.  The farm had grown since I last saw it.

Hausbar crops

As always, if there are animals around, I tend to gravitate toward them – in this case Julian the donkey.

Julian

Julian was difficult to get a good photo of, because he followed me around like a puppy, and I couldn’t get any distance.  He went on the farm tours provided by Dorsey.  He ate the button off my pants.

Eastside was serving tamales and chili, although I was too warm for such fare.  Bola Pizza was dishing up their amazing pie.

Bola Pizza

This chicken wanted nothing to do with all of the hooplah, and stayed perched above the fray.

Above it all

Next, we hoofed it over to Springdale Farm, on Springdale Lane.  The Farm, owned by Paula and Glenn Foore, was in full glorious bloom.  There were  snapdragons aplenty, and they provided a wonderfully colorful accent to the crops.

Springdale Farm

More Spring Color

I tried a delicious lamb slider from The Driskill Grill.

Lamb Slider

From Springdale, we hoofed it over to Rain Lily Farm, on Shady Lane.   Also in full Springtime glory, the farm was fully planted and looked productive.

Rain Lily Farm

There was a salad with farm fresh lettuce, pork belly, and strawberries, and Colleen from Pie Fixes Everything was also on hand with her delicious treats.

Pie Fixes Everything

Next up, we headed over to Boggy Creek Farm, which has for years been one of my happy places.  For some reason, everytime I visit Boggy Creek with a camera, I feel compelled to snap a photo of the work gloves, hung up to dry each day, on the back porch of the farmhouse.

Gloves

To me, these are a reminder that farming takes hard work.  In the distance, there are folks getting a tour of the farm.

The flowers were stunning at Boggy Creek as well.

Gorgeous flowers

After Boggy Creek, we walked back to Hausbar, where we started.

Christian and the Bola Pizza Oven

The pizzas were still flying out of the oven, so I snagged a piece and went off to re-visit the button stealing donkey.  After the tour officially ended, a few of us went back to Springdale Farm, for a lovely evening under the big oak tree, with more food, some wine, and lots more fun.

I love our East Austin Urban Farms, and the farmers are some of the most special people I’ve ever met.  We are so lucky to have access to them.  Boggy Creek and Springdale both have farmstands on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9-1:00, where you can purchase their fabulous produce.  You can help support Rain Lily Farm, by joining Farmhouse Delivery, a local food delivery service.   You can taste the wonderful bounty growing at Hausbar, by patronizing Eastside Cafe.

 

Walking the Walk – Eastside Cafe Grows Their Own March 18, 2011

People are taking an interest in where their food comes from more than ever, and I think that’s great!  Last year I did some posts about restaurants and their gardens, and people wanted to see more.  Sadly, there really aren’t that many restaurants with gardens.  Eastside Cafe has had gardens for as long as I can remember, and they expand them every year.  The owners have also now bought land and established an East Austin Farm, Hausbar Farm, which you can see for yourself on the upcoming East Austin Urban Farm Tour. (I’ll post about that again soon.)

At Eastside, you can walk around the gardens, and see exactly what will end up on your plate.

Eastside Cafe Gardens

I love the round lettuce gardens, with different varieties swirling toward the center.

I’m a big fan of onions, and these water troughs are perfect for growing them.

Water Trough Onions

There is lots of visual interest here, with food food growing in all manner of unlikely spaces.

Bathtub garden

Old Bedframe garden

Eastside was the first place I ever saw cinder block gardens, with the blocks turned up and food planted in the holes.  These cinder gardens are all over their property.  Very smart.

More gardens

The gardens are indicative of the transition from late winter to early spring, filled with leeks, kale, lettuces, cabbage, but also tomatoes.  I was interested to see they had not taken up their hoops or covers just yet, because we never know when that late cold snap is going to surprise us.

Cabbages

They also grow the flowers that you will find garnishing your plate.

Eastside Cafe has delicious American cuisine.  They will be happy to tell you the source of everything on your plate, if it isn’t from the garden or their chickens.  If they don’t grow it, they source it as locally  and sustainably as possible.   Located in East Austin, the cafe resides in a lovely old house, with a garden room out back where you can also sit.  I enjoy shopping at the little shop on the premises, Pitchforks and Tablespoons, where you will find garden supplies, locally made candles and other gift items, books on gardening and eating sustainably, and where they also sell their housemade salsas and salad dressings.  Dine there for lunch or dinner during the week, or for brunch, lunch or dinner on the weekends.  You will be glad you went, I promise!

Eastside Cafe, 2113 Manor Road

More restaurant garden posts to follow soon!

 

No Grocery Store, Day 95 April 7, 2010

The strawberries are coming on strong!  I had more for breakfast, with Texas Coffee Trader’s Coffee and Way Back When milk.  I wanted to see what Eastside Cafe had going on in their amazing gardens, and took mom there for lunch.  I just had the special of the day salad, with garden greens, beets, and shrimp.  I wish I liked beets more, because they are so easy to grow.  Their gardens were amazing, as always.  I was surprised at the quantity of lettuce they still have growing, as its been a bit hot.  One special on the menu was stuffed chard, which they also still had growing.  If you haven’t seen their gardens, you should go, and they have chickens now, too.

Dinner was easy, leftover Thunderheart bison, more salad, and leftover pasta with Elevated Artisinal’s jalapeno ricotta.  Very tasty, indeed.

 

 
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