Despite being a gypsy, sometimes you don’t have to go far to satisfy your travel-bug. It’s especially gratifying to find something new right in your own back yard.
We went to Springdale Farms last week, a few miles east of Austin. My friend Carla volunteers there. She also helps create some products that are sold there. I’ve never experienced any soap as luscious as the Rose Soap that she and Paula make and sell.
It pays to arrive pretty early for the best choice, since all of the farm-to-table chefs arrive at the crack of dawn. But there was still a wonderful selection of freshly-picked, and carefully cleaned produce, artfully arranged and waiting for us, even at our late hour.
Paula and Glenn Foore – the owners – were happy to chat with us, and have a delightfully free-range attitude toward guests; we were invited to wander their property, look at everything, and c’mon back with any questions.
Their fields were rich with winter crops. Flowers were blooming already. There was even a shiny Avion, complete with striped curtains in the window and a lawn chair beside it’s door, parked adjacent to their farmhouse. Heaven.
Without a doubt, the biggest attraction at the farm are their plump, shiny, and exotic hens. My Grampa had a flock on his farm, but they were scrawny, bedraggled, white chickens. Decidedly not the showgirls this bunch is.
They have a large grassy yard of their own, and we watched as one of the men working there took the time to shred some cabbage and broccoli leaves and give them to the hens along with some seed. When there are parties at the farm, the chefs feed leftover cooked vegetables to the hens, which they also love.
It was a memorable break from routine, and I look forward to returning soon. If there are farm stands where you live, I encourage you to go visit them. Meet the folks raising your food. Buy yourself some fresh eggs, or a bunch of carrots or fresh onions.
That’s the way to hug a farmer!
P.S. – I just found out that Springdale Farms is having an Open House on March 5th with guided tours and live music. They will also be part of the East Austin Urban Farm Tour on April 17th. I’ll be there – and if you’re in town, come join me!