Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

About Austin Urban Gardens December 4, 2008

Austin Urban Gardens, the business has closed to allow us to do other things.  The blog remains for reference and will remain active, and I will continue to blog about gardening, cooking, canning, preserving, shopping at local farms and farmer’s markets, and getting to know all about where your food comes from.  To contact me, please use cscrown@swbell.net.  Thank you!

 

43 Responses to “About Austin Urban Gardens”

  1. renee Says:

    hi, your vegetable beds are looking great! I’d like to ask you a few questions about vegetable gardening for a story I’m working on. please email me at rstudebaker@statesman.com

  2. Scott Daigre Says:

    Hi Austin Urban Gardens,

    I saw your recent post on tomatoes and wanted to say hello. I’m a garden designer in Los Angeles and also own a set of spring seedling sales called TOMATOMANIA! (check us out at tomatomania.com) and I’m always interested in finding fellow tomatomaniacs.

    Our event is growing and Austin is one of the places I’d like to target for a future event.

    I’d enjoy talking with you about possibilities in your area and if you’re interested, how I can get you involved as hosts.

    I’ll look forward to hearing from you if that sounds fun. (It is!)

    Scott Daigre
    POWERPLANT GARDEN DESIGN
    TOMATOMANIA!
    323 363 0844

  3. Please pass the word about the upcoming “Get Growing and Keep Going” Gardening conference for teachers, administration and parent leaders.

    This conference is a great way to learn the latest information about gardening in schools! To Register, visit http://online.nwf.org/GGKGconference

    The conference is scheduled for Sat, Feb 6, 2010, 8 am- 4pm, at Garza Independence High School (1600 Chicon, 78702). 7 CEUs. The theme is “Greening Our Schools”. Registration fee is $25.

    The purpose of the conference is to give administrators, teachers and parent representatives the tools to integrate gardens, nature areas and green programs into the school environment which includes topics on rainwater harvesting, composting, vegetable gardening, plant propagation, native habitats, native plants, etc.

    The key speakers for the conference are Kevin Coyle, VP of Education at National Wildlife Federation, and Danna Keyburn, Science Educator at Redeemer Lutheran School. We have a great line up of talented speakers, hands-on sessions and exhibitors from organization such as Travis Co Master Gardeners, Sustainable Food Center, Green Corn Project, Austin Discovery School, LBJ Wildflower Center, National Wildlife Federation, Keep Austin Beautiful, etc.

  4. Hey guys, I’m a student at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and a carpenter. My girlfriend and I are starting a garden as we speak, and we wanted to get some eggs going on. We’ve decided on a large chicken tractor design for our hens. I wanted to give them the best diet possible on our income, so I was wondering if any of you could give any advice. We’ve already got some greens going on in the back yard and we’re planning to seed some dandelions. What else can we grow ourselves to feed our chickens? I’ve considered making a little chicken run that would go between our tractor locations and our gnarly compost pit, I don’t know if that will provide enough protein for them. What else can I feed them in leu of feed? I would like to supplement their diets on the margins with the feed. I am planning to use some scratch in their roosts to held keep them clean. Sorry for the long message, I’m just kind of clueless. My email is trysomethingsimple@gmail.com, if anyone has any suggestions please drop me a line. Thanks and keep bieng awesome,
    Ty

  5. marcopperman Says:

    Hi, I found your site through a food-blogger friend of mine, and I’m really impressed with what you accomplish in raised beds here in Austin. I had to give you a shout out on my own gardening blog (http://gardenaustin.com)

    Cheers,

    -Marc O.

  6. Shelley Says:

    Found your site through the Panzanella recipe featured in the Statesman. Just wanted to thank you for sharing- I recently made it and it was delicious!

    • Hey Shelley, I’m glad you enjoyed the Panzanella. I like it so much better with the toasted bread, and it held up better for the ride over for the party and ensuing photo shoot. Thanks for your nice comment!

  7. Yard Farm Says:

    I’m liking these pictures, keep up all the good work, keep showin’ us how its done, and keep on keepin’ on.

  8. Yvetta Limon Says:

    I second and third the love of Antonelli’s Cheese Plates. Amazing. And I’d like to subscribe via email 🙂

  9. Len Fillmore Says:

    Just had to get on this blog list – great stuff

  10. Kristen P. Says:

    Hi – I loved the article in the Statesman about your quest in giving up the grocery store for a year and am inspired! I spent some time on your blog last night and tomorrow morning my family of four is heading to the BC Farmers Market for the first time. I am also wanting to start a garden in our backyard this spring (or as soon as I can get organized). Only issue is we live out west a bit and are on septic. It provides a beautiful flat grassy yard but I am not sure about planting raised beds on it….any words of wisdom? Thanks!

    • Hi Kristen! Congratulations, you will have a great time at the BC Farmer’s Market. Check out Kocurek Family Charcuterie, Smith and Smith Farms Chickens, Vital Farms eggs, Full Quiver Cheese, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, and Confituras preserves. All wonderful! I think you can plant a raised bed over a septic system, and I think we have, but I’ll make sure and get back to you. Let me know how you like the market!
      Carla

  11. Lisa Bersani Says:

    Hi there I saw an article online about your year without grocery stores and am totally in awe and inspired! I try do avoid grocery stores as much as I can…I mainly buy flour, pasta, spices, beans, grains, etc. I run a farmers market in Portland, OR and love hearing about what other folks are doing around the country. I’m subscribing!
    Thanks!
    Lisa

    • Hey Lisa!
      Thanks for the comment and congratulations on running a farmer’s market! I have a local source for flour from a local farm, but it is 100 whole wheat. Beans were difficult, but a friend who travels a lot brought me some from some farmer’s markets she visited on her travels. There are several pasta vendors at our markets, but I don’t believe their flour is sourced locally. We are very lucky here to have farmer’s markets year round, which I imagine is fairly rare. And we have a year round growing season, so something is always in season. I’d love to get to your market in Portland, I’m a fan of Oregon.
      Best regards,
      Carla C.

  12. crystal myrick Says:

    awesome cant wait to hear more!

  13. crystal myrick Says:

    wish you were on facebook i dont twitter

  14. Tammy Says:

    love your site

  15. Hello Austin Urban Gardens,

    Thank you for writing about last year’s Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour. We thought you and your readers might want to hear more about this year’s tour, which we think will be better than ever. We are one of the first and (we think) most fun urban chicken coop tours in the country. As with last year’s tour, we are a nonprofit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers, that organizes a self-guided chicken coop tour every Spring in the city of Austin, Texas. The purpose of this tour is to encourage city residents to raise chickens at home by demonstrating the many ways that chicken (and other poultry) housing can be incorporated into a city residence without violating city ordinances or creating a nuisance. Many of the homes on the tour have featured various alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, along with other environmentally sound practices such as rainwater harvesting and xeriscaping. We think this year’s tour will be especially interesting: a lot of the coops on the tour also unusual features; for example, one of our tour hosts on this year’s tour keeps dairy goats along with chickens and another has a chandelier inside the coop!

    We also like to show Austin residents that chickens and their manure are readily incorporated into a household gardening and composting regimen that results in inexpensive, healthy and sustainable food, even in relatively small spaces. Encouraging people of all income levels to produce their own food is, in our opinion, a means of advancing “social and community welfare.” Since this local production of foodstuffs (and nothing is more “local” than one’s own backyard!) replaces food produced on commercial farms and trucked into supermarkets, we also believe that our organization promotes the “advancement of the natural environment.” Another benefit of our tour is to raise awareness of heritage breeds of poultry, many of which have been in danger of disappearing as factory poultry farming has come to dominate most commercial production; local chicken enthusiasts have been responsible for the resurgence in interest in various poultry breeds, some of which are better adapted to Austin’s hot climate and which represent an important part of historic American farming culture.

    If you would like to know more about us, please visit our website http://www.austincooptour.org and visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Austin-Funky-Chicken-Coop-Tour/148228950019.

    Our organization, Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour, operates in association with another local organization, The Sustainable Food Center, http://www.sustainablefoodcenter.org .The tour will be a fundraiser for the first time this year, with all proceeds (after expenses) to be donated to the SFC.

    We would like to invite both you and your readers to join us on April 23, 2011, and please let us know if you write about us so we can mention you on our Facebook and Webpage.

  16. Nerissa Barry Says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to email you in regards in any possible advertising opportunities you may have with your website. Shoot me an email back and let me know if you’d be interested in working together, I look forward to hearing back from you.

  17. Kathy Flynn Says:

    Do you know how lucky you are?! I am a lifelong Minnesotan ( who is moving down to the Austin area in August 2011), and we plant ONCE a year, during the last 2 weeks of May or the 1st week of June. I haven’t gardened in years and I’m totally itching to do so. I wasn’t sure what kinds of manure are OK to use in compost. Also, I’m starting out with little or no budget for beds, composting, water barrels, etc., so I need to do things “low tech” at first. My entire backyard is a “blank page” right now…Any resources you can steer me to would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi Kathy,
      You will enjoy gardening in Austin, although the heat in July and August is rather oppressive. I typically supplement my compost with Ladybug turkey compost, since I don’t have chickens. You can use horse or cow manure, although I don’t know lots about either. If you don’t use raised beds, you will need to amend your soil, depending on what part of town you are moving to, you’ll either have rock or clay to contend with. One really great resource here for organic gardening is The Natural Gardener. We use their soil for our customer installations, and I personally shop there frequently for seeds, transplants, soil amendments. I do a monthly planting guide on this blog for anyone who is interested, typically at the end of each month. Feel free to ask me anything, and thanks for commenting!

  18. Brian Says:

    Hi. I am wondering when the best time to plant Lemon Cucumbers is here in Austin? Thanks!

  19. Ericka Mendoza Says:

    How or where can I buy fresh Meyer lemons in Austin?

  20. Patrick Says:

    Hey nice work spreading the word that you can grow so much of your own food in Austin year round. I’m an organic farmer in Austin, from Austin and it’s amazing-peaches, apples, pecans, olives and olive oil, citrus, sweet potatoes, spinach, wine, etc. Tons of food from within our state and even region. I just wish I had more land to grow on!

    Patrick
    Oak Hill

  21. Gail Says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog and I think it’s great! I’ve only been in Austin since August 2010 so I’m still getting used to growing things here. Not to mention that I moved into an apartment in July so I had to switch everything to containers which has been a new challenge.

    Is there a place you recommend to learn about planting schedules? I’m relatively new at gardening, so I’m often uncertain about the conflicting information about when to plant. I’d also appreciate any advice you have about increasing yields…especially now that I’ve got everything in pots! I’m growing pumpkins, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe, and a few varieties of flowers.

    • Hey Gail,
      Thanks for commenting! I grew everything in pots for years, with lots of success. All you need is good soil, plenty of sun, and regular watering. You can search my blog for planting guides every month. My guides are a combination of the Texas Agrilife Extension Service guides, the Natural Gardener guides and my own experience. As far as yields, I prefer the Rabbit Hill organic products, and my own compost for rich soil. I also use worm castings a lot. Good luck!

  22. Hello,

    Thank you for mentioning last year’s The Funky Chicken Coop Tour®. We thought you and your readers might want to hear more about this year’s tour, which we think will be better than ever.

    We are one of the first and (we think) most fun urban chicken coop tours in the country. As with last year’s tour, The Funky Chicken Coop Tour®, founded in 2009, is an annual self guided tour held each spring in Austin, Texas, by the nonprofit organization the Urban Poultry Association of Texas, Inc. The purpose of this tour is to encourage city residents to raise chickens at home by demonstrating the many ways that chicken (and other poultry) housing can be incorporated into urban residence without violating city ordinances or creating a nuisance.

    On Saturday, April 7, 2012, Austin-area poultry keepers will open their backyards to the public for the fourth year in a row to show off their chickens and their urban coops. Besides being easy-to-care-for pets, chickens also provide manure for fertilizer and compost, along with helping keep both weeds and bugs in check, all of which helps create better yards and gardens. Of course they also provide delicious fresh eggs right from your own backyard. Most chicken owners report that it’s just plain fun to have them around.

    Visitors to the tour sites will see how recycled materials can be transformed into a low-cost coop or how a design-conscious coop can enhance the beauty of a landscape. The tour hosts will be on hand to share their experiences with chicken care, coop design, maintaining harmony among the chickens, people and other pets, and more. Chicken coops often integrate into larger projects, such as organic gardens, sustainability and permaculture efforts, and school activities. The tour hosts will be on hand to share their experiences with chicken care, coop design, maintaining harmony among the chickens, people and other pets, and more. Many of the homes on the tour have featured various alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, along with other environmentally sound practices such as rainwater harvesting and xeriscaping. A lot of the coops on the tour also have interesting and unusual features; for example, several of our tour hosts on this year’s tour keeps dairy goats along with chickens and another is integrated in the picturesque landscape of a Bed & Breakfast.

    So, make some time on Easter weekend to check out this event. The self-guided tour will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, rain or shine. The Information Center on the day of the tour will be at Buck Moore Feed & Supply, 5237 North Lamar Boulevard Austin, TX 78751. Tour Maps will be available for $10 each, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Green Corn Project. The tour maps will serve as entry tickets, but can be shared by as many people as desired.

    If you would like to know more about us, please visit our website http://www.austincooptour.org. You can also stay up to date by following The Funky Chicken Coop Tour® on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AustinFunkyChickenCoopTour and Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/afct. We now also have a fun Pinterest page with all things chicken related: http://pinterest.com/austincooptour/.

    We would like to invite both you and your readers to join us on April 7, 2012, and please let us know if you write about us so we can mention you on our Facebook and Webpage.

    Thank You For Supporting The Funky Chicken Coop Tour®!!!!

  23. Hi there! I have a press inquiry regarding a local all-natural snack food company called World Peas! If you could send me an email address to discuss details, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

    -Macey

  24. Gene Cox Says:

    Hello, I’m Gene
    I do food safety training online.

    If anyone wishes to sell these products, they need to know about the Texas Cottage Food Law. That information is available on my website https://texas-food-handler.com.

    I am also offering AFBA members Texas Food Handler training for only $4.95, regular $9.95, and Food Handler and registration with the City of Austin, COA Number, for only $16.95, regular $21.95. If interested or you know anyone needing these credentials, go to
    https://texas-food-handler.com/afba

    Thank you, Gene


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