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Hoop House | © stereogab/Flickr
Hoop House | © stereogab/Flickr

An Introduction To Urban Farming In Austin, Texas

Picture of Aubrey Cofield
Updated: 28 November 2016
Perhaps there’s an urban farm not too far from where you work, live, or eat. It’s quite possible you’ve ventured to grow your own heirloom tomatoes and have a few chickens roaming around the coop you ordered online. Urban agriculture keeps gaining more proponents in and around Austin, a city known for its sustainable living advocates. Stay tuned to learn more about urban farming in Texas’ capital.

The urban agriculture movement stems from the social desire to live more sustainably in our communities; oftentimes with the yearning for an improvement in the quality of everyday life. Urban farming practices can ensure food security, nutrition improvement, and food safety. It also provides restaurants with a way to accessibly serve the freshest produce and meats to customers. While urban farming does have its issues of controversy, specifically in the neighborhoods in which they dwell, the positive seems to quash any negative assertions regarding farming within city limits.

In Austin, there are several farms smack dab in the middle of the city. Some of these include Boggy Creek Farm in East Austin, a five-acre fully functioning farm well known for their goat cheese and strawberry jam.

Springdale Farm, also in East Austin, is extremely popular among locals and well known for their sustainable food practices. They also host restaurants on their grounds like Eden East, a favorite farm-to-table restaurant in Austin. Market days on the farm are Wednesdays and Saturdays when you can buy organic produce, handmade soups, and eat a freshly made brunch.

An all time favorite spot for these summer nights!

A photo posted by Sarah Lawrence (@sarah_michelle_lawrence) on

Hausbar Urban Farm & GuestHaus follows the ultimate sustainable living practices. Their crops are all watered through the recycling of rainwater. They don’t use any gas-powered equipment on their farm, and the mowing and fertilization for their crops are all achieved with the help of their donkeys. For an added bonus, their sustainable GuestHaus is a vacation rental where you’re able to gather your own ingredients at a discount price and make a (quite literal) farm-fresh breakfast.

Everybody has headed for higher ground on Mulch Mountain. You can see Lake HausBar in the background. #urbanfarmlife #soggybottom

A photo posted by HausBar Urban Farm & GuestHaus (@hausbarfarmsatx) on

The recent pop-up of community gardens is in large part thanks to Urban Patchwork, a non-profit in Austin aiming to turn underutilized land into sustainable neighborhood gardens. The gardens provide ample, free produce for the areas in which they reside. These spaces are a way to create more self-sufficient communities, complete with educational centers to ensure the spread of sustainable living.

Having farms so close creates easy access to fresh food plus provides a way to educate our youth as well as ourselves. With the rise of city living, the knowledge of how our food is produced is scarce among our upcoming and current working generations. Visiting an urban farm might be a good way for children to learn how their broccoli is grown, or even help develop an appreciation towards the quality of an animal’s life.

Check out Austin Urban Farm Tour or plan a visit during Market Days and experience the farm fresh food in your own urban backyard.