Sustainable Opportunities in Central Texas

Citrus fruit from rom my garden

Hi y’all! Hope 2017 has kicked off to a great start! I’m super excited to update you on all of the great sustainable transitions that have happened in the past few months! For those of you who were able to attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, Texas in February, it was great to see you and thank you so much for attending my workshops! In case you missed either of them I’m pleased to tell you that you have another chance to attend the Small Farmer Value Added Workshop if you are in the Central Texas area this summer! I will be teaching that class June 22nd-July 27th on Thursdays from 6-9pm at Austin Community College through their Sustainability Program! Did you know that ACC offers the only sustainability program in the state, as well as many other awesome home and garden courses?

The Small Farmer Value Added Workshop is for beginning or existing farmers who want to incorporate a sustainable, holistic, values-based system that additionally brings to market niche products to help generate more revenue. Workshop will cover a wide range of topics including Texas Cottage Food Laws/Production/Food Sampling, Waste Management, Sustainable Marketing, Triple Bottom Line, Certifications, Whole Farm Planning, Branding, Agrobiodiversity, and Resource Development. There will be individual and group activities as well as a student workbook provided.

As a Farm to School Ambassador for the Sustainable Food Center and Austin Independent School District I have really enjoyed engaging elementary students during lunch by offering samples from local sustainable farmers! AISD has been integrating the salad bar at various schools and 135 schools are a part of the Farm to School program in Austin! It has been a refreshing opportunity to volunteer on  behalf of this social sustainability program! This past week we distributed a cilantro, carrot, and lime juice sample that the kids loved! Also check out School and Community Farm Stands or weekly SFC farmers’ markets which also allow customers to use SNAP and WIC benefits. SFC F2S team assisted with citrus fundraisers offered at some of the schools this winter from fruit grown in the valley. Above is a picture of some citrus I grew last year.

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