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Johnson's Backyard Garden logo designed by Ryan Rhodes

One of these days, I WILL be a member of Johnson’s Backyard Garden.  It is not quite in our budget for the time being, however the minute it is…move out of my way, fresh produce grown locally here I come!

This is what they have to say about themselves on their site (can you say SIGN ME UP?!):

We’re a 70-acre organic Community Supported farm only five miles east of downtown Austin. Over 1,000 Austinites enjoy our homegrown, organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. We deliver boxes weekly or biweekly to convenient neighborhood locations. Our members receive produce harvested a few days, if not hours, from Austin’s own backyard.

Johnson's Backyard Garden

JBG-- volunteers cleaning and boxing the fresh produce

A few of Mr. Fancy Pants’ studio mates from Public School went to volunteer at JBG earlier in 2010. I really wish that my work schedule was conducive to doing this because it looks like great fun.  Check out the guys hard at work.

Johnson's Backyard Garden

Johnson's Backyard Garden

Here’s a sample of this past week’s box (list of what was included and photo of the amazing fresh produce):

In This Week’s Box


Week of Jan 3rd
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Carrots
Beets
Salad Turnips
Mustard Greens
Cabbage
Dill
Swiss Chard
Kohlrabi
Green Onions
Sweet Potatoes

 

CSA Share Box for the week of January 3rd

JBG-- photo from the annual potluck

Their branding was recently redone by the incredibly talented Ryan Rhodes.  I have included an amazing stop motion video of him painting the JBG farm truck below.  Check it out.  It’s pretty incredible.

JBG Farm Truck Painting from Bigger Than Giants on Vimeo.

JBG-- Farm Truck painted by Ryan Rhodes

All pictures courtesy of Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s website.  To see more about these amazing people and what they’re doing, click here.

A few weeks ago I was looking around the internet at various “eating local” sites and stumbled upon Slow Food.  Mr. Fancy Pants and I are always looking for things to do/organizations to join that will allow us to meet new people who share similar interests as we do (another post about that to come) so I was immediately drawn into the idea for multiple reasons.  It can be hard to meet new people in such a big city!

Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. To do that, Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable.”

After further looking around the website, I realized that there is a branch of Slow Food here in Austin, TX.  This is when I got really excited.  Slow Food Austin is the local Convivium (Chapter) of Slow Food International. Side note, convivium is a Latin word that means a feast, entertainment or banquet (love that little tid-bit).  I couldn’t wait to join!  I cannot figure out if all of the chapters set up their events in the same way, but the one here in Austin “educates” its members on local food, what you eat, healthy food choices, etc. through a few different events.  The organizational staff (those in charge) provide educational classes and seminars in local schools here in Austin.  For the members, the “education” consists of Farm Tours, Happy Hours, and “Slow Sessions”.  They do monthly tours of local organic farms in the area–this I am really excited about!  The ones they have visited in the past few months are Green Gate Farms, Coyote Creek Farms, and Johnson’s Backyard Garden (another post about this amazing place later).  The happy hours are also held every month and are hosted by local restaurants or farms who support farm-to-fork philosophy and farmers who want to grow the slow food movement.

Here are some of May’s pictures from the Happy Hour at Green Gate Farms:

May Happy Hour at Green Gate Farms

May Happy Hour at Green Gate Farms

May Happy Hour at Green Gate Farms

May Happy Hour at Green Gate Farms

The Slow Sessions are apparently unique event started by Slow Food Austin. The website says that, “the vision for these sessions is to provide a forum to discuss topics related to Slow Food in Austin. It is meant to be social and educational. Some past topics have included recipe swaps, cookbook author presentations, dietary and lifestyle gurus, how to’s on making your own cheese and wine, movie nights, potlucks, farm tours and more.”  SIGN ME UP!

This event looked pretty neat too.  Last year the Austin chapter participated in the annual Slow Food USA’s National Day of Action by hosting a potluck Eat-In at Rain Lily Farms to show their support of having REAL food in our school cafeterias.  Check out these pictures:

Slow Food USA's National Day of Action 2009

Slow Food USA's National Day of Action 2009--example of a REAL school lunch meal.

Slow Food USA's National Day of Action 2009

Slow Food USA's National Day of Action 2009

Seriously, this just looks like a blast to me.  My granddad has a garden and to be honest with you I always secretly wished I could grow up on a farm.  I always loved being with him in the garden and how simplistic life seemed to be when we were there.  I grew up in East Texas and farm land is pretty common out in that area.  It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful it is.  And I say that I love how simple life is when I’m there, yet, the fact is life can be that simple no matter where we are.  We just tend to make it about so much more than it should be.  I appreciate this organizations aim to make us all slow down.  To appreciate good food, good people, and the beautiful world around us.  In my life, God is always telling me to slow down.  Life is so short.  It’s refreshing to come across a group of people who are setting out to do one of the most simplistic things, and do that together–Slow.  Down.  I cannot wait to get involved with this organization, learn new things, and meet some new friends through it.  The membership fee will be an investment for William and I, however I think it will be 100% worth it.

All photos taken by Marshall Wright, eatthislens.com