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LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

UMAMI CARROTS & PARSNIPS

04/01/15 — Farm

Use the carrots in your box to make Use the vegetables in your box to make umami carrots!

Umami Carrots & Parsnips

Time: 45 mins Serves: 4

-6 small carrots, peeled and diced into chunks

-4 parsnips, peeled and diced into chunks

-2 tbls olive oil

-2 tbls low-sodium soy sauce

-2 tbls honey

-1 tsp sriracha

-1/2 tsp ground ginger

-1/2 tsp sesame oil

-salt & pepper

-toasted sesame seeds for garnish

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Begin my mixing the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, sriracha, ginger, sesame oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  Mix well.

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Toss in the diced carrots and parsnips.  Make sure all of the veggies get coated in the sauce.

Put all of the veggies, along with the sauce in a small glass-baking dish.

FullSizeRender_2Roast the veggies at 375 for 30-40 minutes until they are tender.  Stir once about halfway through the baking process.

When the veggies are done roasting, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

Enjoy!

IMAGES FROM THE FARM

04/01/15 — Farm

On your mark, get set...go!  Join us Saturday for a 5K race around JBG & Farmshare Austin.  Photo by Scott David Gordon On your mark, get set...go! Join us Saturday for a 5K race around JBG & Farmshare Austin. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Are you ready to run?  We hope so!  Join us this Saturday, April 4th, for the Spring Hoedown and 5K Garden Gallop.  For a sneak peak at how great our fields look, check out these images from Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Driving by chard rows.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Driving by chard rows. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Rainbow chard close up.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Rainbow chard close up. Photo by Scott David Gordon

 

New planting continues.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Kelly, Yamileth, & Katie planting onions. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A transplant gets it's start.  Photo by Scott David Gordon A transplant gets it's start. Photo by Scott David Gordon

 

It's a dog's life - taking a break in the shade.  Photo by Scott David Gordon It's a dog's life - taking a break in the shade. Photo by Scott David Gordon

The view from behind the wheel.  Photo by Scott David Gordon The view from behind the wheel. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Looking good out there.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Looking good out there. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Hanging out with Ada and Wilbur & Tarzan.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Hanging out with Ada and Wilbur & Tarzan. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Ada & Wilbur.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Ada & Wilbur. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Oh, no - don't put Ada in the pig pen!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Oh, no - don't put Ada in the pig pen! Photo by Scott David Gordon

NEW GRADUATES!

04/01/15 — Farm

Farmshare students & staff doing some spring planting.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Farmshare students & staff doing some spring planting. Photo by Scott David Gordon

This Tuesday, I attended the first-ever graduation for Farmshare Austin, the nonprofit I helped found that trains new farmers in organic growing methods.  I now serve on the board of directors, and it has been an amazing experience to see this independent organization really take off.  At the graduation, I was amazed by the how much positive energy and joy there was in the room  - just check out the expressions on the faces of the graduates and staff.

Farmshare graduate Krissy Voutas gets her certificate from Marissa.  Photo by Carrie Kenny Farmshare graduate Krissy Voutas  gets her certificate from Lead Instructor Marissa Lankes. Photo by Carrie Kenny

Farmshare's Farm Manager, Lorig Hawkins, congratulates the students on a job well done.  Photo by Carrie Kenny Farmshare's Farm Manager, Lorig Hawkins, congratulates the students on a job well done. Photo by Carrie Kenny

I have to thank Farmshare's exceptional staff for giving these students such an incredible learning experience.  It is one thing to come up with an idea for a nonprofit and quite another to transform that idea into a reality.  Executive Director Taylor Cook, Lead Instructor Marissa Lankes, and Farm Manager Lorig Hawkins made this transformation possible through their hard work and dedication.  At graduation, I was really impressed to hear from the students themselves that Farmshare had exceeded their expectations.  What's even better is most of them want to continue on in agriculture.  It's clear that Farmshare is filling an important need for new farmer education in our community, and I want to do what I can to further their success.  This is why part of the proceeds from the Spring Hoedown this Saturday, April 4th,  will be donated to Farmshare.  I hope you will come join us in the fun Saturday and support the future of farming in the process.

Race Course Final Come run the 5K Garden Gallop at JBG and Farmshare on Saturday!

In case you missed it, let me say it again - the Spring Hoedown is THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 4th, at our River Road location (click here for more info and to sign up).

We've got a lot planned for Saturday, including a 5k Garden Gallop.  If you are a runner, I encourage you to register for the 5K.  This isn't your typical race as the course itself is an organic farm!  The race course will take you all around JBG's fields.  It will also take you through Farmshare Austin's teaching farm right next door.  I can't think of a better way to take in these gorgeous fields - plus, all participants in the 5K get a cool t-shirt!  There's also a 1/2 mile fun run for kids up to age 13, so bring your young ones, too!  One more thing - as promised, I will be running in costume!  Catch me if you can

If running's not your speed, you can walk around the farm to check out the growing vegetables.  And, if you get hungry, we will have plenty to eat, including a special farm-to-table buffet catered by Ironwood Icehouse.  There will be BBQ, local beer, and lots of vegetarian options for non-meat eaters.    And then for dessert, we will have ice cream from Lick Honest Ice Cream.  Believe me, this is one dessert you don't want to miss!

In keeping with all of our gatherings, the Spring Hoedown will also feature great local musicians.  This year, I've managed to pull together so many of my favorite things: farming, running, music, and this amazing community.  I truly love getting the chance to connect with all of you.  As a farmer, it is such a meaningful experience to meet the families that eat what you have grown.  Plus, I love showing off our fields, especially to kids who may never have seen a working farm before - their enthusiasm can even rival my own!  So, I hope you will take me up on my invitation to celebrate with us at JBG this Saturday.  Be sure to bring the young ones, too, and spread the word as this event is open to all (except dogs - no pets, please!)  See you this Saturday!

Here's the Schedule of Events

What: Spring Hoedown and 5k Garden Gallop!

When: Saturday, April 4th

Where: 4008 River Road, Cedar Creek, TX 78612

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

9 AM  Gates Open!

10:00 - 11:00 AM   5K Garden Gallop

10:15 - 10:45 AM  ½ mile Kids’ Fun Run (Up to age 13)

11:00 - 4:00 PM    Kids’ Zone Open

12:00 - 3:00 PM  Food is Served (Meal included in ticket price)

Music & Dancing Schedule 

10:30 - 11:30 AM  Out of the Blue

12:00 - 1:00 PM  La Tamiqueña and Mr. Will

1:30 - 2:30 PM  Show and Tellers

2:30 - 3:00 PM   Dance Lessons with Beth and Marlon

3:00 – 4:00 PM  Gumbo Ce Soir

Click here to sign up!

We'd love to see you Saturday at the Hoedown!  Photo by Carrie Kenny We'd love to see you Saturday at the Hoedown! Photo by Carrie Kenny

NOW HIRING WHOLESALE DRIVER

04/06/15 — Farm

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Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking an experienced candidate to assume responsibility as the lead Wholesale Driver. The Wholesale Driver will work closely with our sales managers to ensure that all deliveries are made in a timely manner.

JBG offers the opportunity for community members to be provided with the best quality, locally grown, organic vegetables possible. In just 10 years, the farm went from a 30x50ft garden in an urban backyard in East Austin to a now 205-acre organic vegetable farm based on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.  Our CSA has now grown to more than 1,700 members in four major metropolises and we provide fresh, year-round, organic produce to CSA members, multiple farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery retailers, including major chains like Whole Foods and HEB/Central Market.

Responsibilities
  • Loads and delivers of vegetables to large distribution centers early Tuesday-Friday mornings in JBG 24-foot refrigerated vehicles to Austin or San Antonio
  • Delivers daily orders to local restaurants, food processors, and grocery stores in a JBG van or box truck, Tuesday-Saturday mornings and afternoons
  • Checks all orders to ensure quality of produce
  • Checks all invoices to ensure order is complete before delivering
  • Occasionally packs late orders for customers and delivers
 

Qualifications
  • Ability and experience driving a variety of vehicles, including large trucks, and manual or automatic transmission (CDL not required, but preferred)
  • Valid TX driver’s license with a clean driving record
  • Experience using a forklift and a pallet jack
  • Able to work morning shifts as early as 6:00am
  • Self-directed and independent worker
  • An interest in agriculture and promotion of local and organic farming highly preferred
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to lift 60 pounds and mobility to ascend and descend the rear end of a box truck.
  • Ability to load trucks in a timely manner to ensure earliest delivery possible
  • Ability to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions
 

Compensation and Benefits
    • Compensation is dependent on experience. Expected salary range is $11-$12/hour.
 

To apply, please send a resume and two professional references to jobs@jbgorganic.com with “Driver” in the subject line.

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.  The duties listed above are general and not an exhaustive list of tasks performed on the farm. We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

CUSTOMIZABLE BANNER

04/06/15 — Farm

Customizable-CSA-Banner

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 6TH

04/07/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 6th CSA Box Contents Week of April 6th

Large Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Salad Mix
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Fennel
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Leek
Onion, Spring Red
Parsnip
Radish, Red
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Spring Red
Radish, Red
Small Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Spring Red
Individual Box
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Salad Mix
Onion, Spring Red
Parsnip

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 6TH

04/07/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 6th CSA Box Contents Week of April 6th

Medium Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Spring Yellow
Radish, Red

 

PICTURES OF THE HOEDOWN

04/09/15 — Farm

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Thank you, Scott David Gordon, for doing such a great job capturing the fun at last Saturday's Hoedown and Garden Gallop!  Check out these images of the race and the festivities.

Runners await the start of the Garden Gallop.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Runners await the start of the Garden Gallop. Photo by Scott David Gordon

And they're off!  Photo by Scott David Gordon And they're off! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Running along the field's edge.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Running along the field's edge. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Winner (and former JBG employee!) Luis Gutierrez crosses the finish line.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Winner (and former JBG employee!) Luis Gutierrez crosses the finish line. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Congratulations to Kelly Maze for being the first female to cross the finish line!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

The fast finishers!  Photo by Scott David Gordon The fast finishers! Photo by Scott David Gordon

And who is this rounding the curve?  Photo by Scott David Gordon And who is this rounding the curve? Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cheering the runners on.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Cheering the runners on. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Let's get this hoedown started!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Chansons et Soulards gets the hoedown started! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Creating art at the hoedown!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Creating art at the hoedown! Photo by Scott David Gordon

And playing with large tractor tires!  Photo by Scott David Gordon And playing with large tractor tires! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Out of the Blue plays for guests.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Out of the Blue plays for guests. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A young guest dances to the tunes of Out of the Blue.  Photo by Scott David Gordon A young guest dances to the tunes of Out of the Blue. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Enjoying the hoedown.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Enjoying the hoedown. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Anthony prepares to hit whiffle balls into the audience for a few lucky winners to catch.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Anthony prepares to hit whiffle balls into the audience for a few lucky winners to catch. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Getting ready to catch a ball and win a prize!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Getting ready to catch a ball and win a prize! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Loading up plates with great food from Ironwood Icehouse!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Loading up plates with great food from Ironwood Icehouse! Photo by Scott David Gordon

And dessert from Lick Honest Ice Creams!  Photo by Scott David Gordon And dessert from Lick Honest Ice Creams! Photo by Scott David Gordon

La Tampiquena takes the stage.  Photo by Scott David Gordon La Tampiquena takes the stage. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Enjoying the hoedown.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Enjoying the hoedown. Photo by Scott David Gordon

The Show and Tellers!  Photo by Scott David Gordon The Show and Tellers! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Hanging out at the hoedown.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Hanging out at the hoedown. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Ada Broussard and her sister.  Thanks so much, Ada, for all the work you put into the hoedown!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Ada Broussard and her sister. Thanks so much, Ada, for all the work you put into the hoedown! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Gumbo Ce Soir takes the stage!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Gumbo Ce Soir takes the stage! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Gumbo Ce Soir.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Gumbo Ce Soir. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Dancing to Gumbo Ce Soir.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Dancing to Gumbo Ce Soir. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Thanks to everyone who came to the hoedown - hope you had a fantastic time!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Thanks to everyone who came to the hoedown - hope you had a fantastic time! Photo by Scott David Gordon

And one final panorama from the Spring Hoedown

panorama

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

04/09/15 — Farm

Hanging out at the hoedown.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Hanging out at the hoedown. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out to the farm last Saturday for the Spring Hoedown and Garden Gallop.  I had so much fun - I'd even go so far as to say it was our best hoedown yet!  I think the reason I enjoyed it so much is that we were finally able to host it out at River Road.  I loved that so many of you were able to come see where we grow our vegetables, and it was especially fun for me to literally run around the fields with you.  I had a blast - so much so that I am already planning a race for the Fall Hoedown in early October - it's going to be called the Harvest Hustle!

Working down to the last minute and stripping to run!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Working down to the last minute and stripping to run! Photo by Scott David Gordon

What do they say in farming?  You reap what you sow.  For this hoedown, we put more time and energy into it than ever before, and it really paid off.  I think I lost 20 lbs in the process of trying to get the new stage and barn ready to go in the days leading up to the event.  As those of you who ran the race saw, I was working down to the last minute.  Right before the race started, I stopped working, jumped on stage, and stripped down to my running clothes!  From that point on, it was pure fun - running and great food, music, and company.  It all went so smoothly, and for this, I have to thank our amazing CSA Manager, Ada Broussard.  I may have worked on getting the infrastructure in place, but it's in large part thanks to Ada that we had such an amazing hoedown - she did an outstanding job.

I also have to say thank you to all of the vendors and musicians who worked to make this event such a success.  The music was fantastic - thank you to Chansons et Soulards, Out of the Blue, La Tampiquena, Show & Tellers, and Gumbo Ce SoirIronwood Ice House really hit it out of the park with the food!  It was so good - you all outdid yourselves!  And Lick Honest Ice Cream - you all are amazing, too!  I love ice cream, and you all do not disappoint.  We had such strong support from businesses all over this city, and my thanks goes out to these generous establishments:  Frank, Spinbelt, Woods Apothecary, Saucony, Texas Running Co., Juiceland, Rockin Tomato, Jacobys, Cenote, Peche, Kate Payne/Hip Girls' Guide, HOPE Farmers Market, Dia Due, Yonder Way Farms, Qui, Wheatsville, Max's Wine Dive, Golden Spike Railcart, Castle Hill, Paramount Theatre, Moontower, Salt and Time, Jester king, Dancin' Austin, Just Trees, Whole Foods, ABGB, Thirsty Planet, Circle Brewing, Adelbert's Brewery, Moonshine Sweet Tea, Natural Epicurian, DoMore Race Services, and Casa Brazil!

Finally, we really couldn't have hosted this event (at least not very well...) without the hard-working volunteers who lent their time and efforts last Saturday.  As volunteers, not only did you help our guests have a great time, you enabled our employees to take a bit of a break, too.  They got to put their literal and figurative hoes down!  I thank all of the volunteers for the gift of their time and for supporting local agriculture in the process.

Executive Director, Taylor Cook, tells the hoedown crowd about Farmshare Austin.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Executive Director, Taylor Cook, tells the hoedown crowd about Farmshare Austin. Photo by Scott David Gordon

And, finally, thank you again to all who supported Farmshare Austin by coming to the Hoedown.  I hope that many of you also got a chance to see Farmshare's teaching farm - they are doing an amazing job both teaching new farmers and growing produce for our community.  In fact, here's another opportunity to lend them your support - and all it takes it a click-a-day online between now and April 27th!  I know you can do it!  Farmshare is in the running for a Seeds of Change Grant that will enable them to continue operating a farmers market at the Safe Place shelter once a week.  Vegetables for the market is harvested at Farmshare's educational farm and then all produce is donated to the Safeplace residents.   Please help Farmshare Austin maintain this worthy program by voting here.  You can also help by spreading the word and getting your friends to vote for Farmshare.  My thanks to you for taking the time to do this between now and April 27th.

CSA members - join us for a potluck on May 9th!  Photo by Scott David Gordon CSA members - join us for a potluck on May 9th! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Potluck for CSA Members on Saturday, May 9th

I had such a blast last Saturday that I am ready to do it again!  So, guess what?  We've decided to host another potluck on the afternoon/evening of Saturday, May 9th for all CSA members.  This event will be free and is exclusively for current CSA members and families.  As much as I enjoyed the big hoedown last Saturday, I would love to have the opportunity to connect with CSA members one-on-one at this smaller gathering, too.  I want to be able to express my gratitude to all of you who support us week-in and week-out through your membership.  I can't overstate how important it is to know that we have the backing of such a committed group of people willing to pay in advance for a share of our harvest - it gives me tremendous confidence.  The CSA has always been at the heart of our farm, and I hope all members will come out on the 9th to celebrate being part of this amazing community.  We will have live music, and, I can guarantee right now that the food will be out of this world (I know this because you all will be doing the cooking, and we have some incredible chefs in this fine group of people!).  Stay tuned for more info on how to RSVP for this CSA-member potluck - I want to see you there!

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 13TH

04/14/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 13th CSA Box Contents Week of April 13th

Large Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Salad Mix
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine
Onion, Spring Red
Parsnip
Medium Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine
Onion, Spring Red
Radish, French Breakfast
Small Box
Carrot, Orange
Garlic, Mexican
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Salad Mix
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Leek
Parsnip
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 13TH

04/14/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 13th CSA Box Contents Week of April 13th

Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Spring Red
Radish, Red

NOW HIRING DISTRIBUTION BARN CREW

04/15/15 — Farm

130923_SDG178192

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking a new team member to work in our Hergotz barn. Barn employees are responsible for washing, processing, and packing vegetables.  This particular individual is a member of our Wholesale Packing Crew. This position is also responsible for ensuring produce quality and compliance with health regulations. The barn worker will work closely with the barn manager, and wholesale coordinator to guarantee that operations and orders are completed correctly and in a timely manner.

JBG offers the community high quality, locally grown, and organic vegetables. In just 10 years, the farm went from a 30x50ft garden in an urban backyard in East Austin to a now 205-acre organic vegetable farm based on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.  Our CSA has now grown to more than 1,700 members in four major metropolises and we provide fresh, year-round, organic produce to CSA members, multiple farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery retailers, including major chains like Whole Foods and HEB/Central Market.

 

Responsibilities
  • Receive, process, and package vegetables harvested on the farm
  • Maintain a clean and sanitary working environment
  • Ensure quality of all produce
  • Wash, sort, and pack vegetables and prepare them for Wholesale Grocer Distribution
 

Qualifications
  • No previous experience required, only a desire for farm work
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
 

Compensation and Benefits
  • Expected salary range is $10/hour.
  • This is a M-F position, and average hours are from 10:30-7:30pm. Candidates for this position must be flexible as hours may vary depending on daily orders.
 

To Apply

Please send a resume and two professional references to jobs@jbgorganic.com with “Barn Crew” in the subject line.

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.  The duties listed above are general and not an exhaustive list of tasks performed on the farm. We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

 

 

 

NOW HIRING FARMERS MARKET STAFF (VARIOUS POSITIONS)

04/15/15 — Farm

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Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking to fill multiple positions to work at one of our farmer’s market stands in Austin and surrounding areas. Farmers’ market staff are the face of JBG to the community and are expected to express an interest in local food, as well as a willingness to learn about JBG and our produce, including how it is grown and different methods of preparation.

JBG is a local organic farm, offering the community high quality, locally grown, and organic vegetables. In just 10 years, the farm went from a 30x50ft garden in an urban backyard in East Austin to a now 205-acre organic vegetable farm, based on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.  Our CSA has now grown to more than 1,700 members in four major metropolises, and we provide fresh, year-round, organic produce to CSA members, multiple farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery retailers, including major chains like Whole Foods and HEB/Central Market.

To apply for any of the positions listed below, please send a resume to jobs@jbgorganic.com with “Market Staff” in the subject line.

 

Farmers Market Team Leader

Responsibilities
  • Act as a JBG ambassador, welcoming community members to learn about the farm, our produce, and upcoming farm events
  • Eagerness and Willingness to learn about JBG’s farming practices and product and relay to market customers
  • Help unload and load market trucks including product, tents, weights, and tables at the beginning and end of each market
  • Must follow all money-handling procedures as outlined by JBG
  • Follow all JBG safety regulations and perform daily vehicle safety check
  • Helps maintain an organized packing shed and barn, follow all post-market cleanup procedures as assigned by Farmers Market Barn Manager
 

Qualifications
  • No previous experience required, only a desire to work.
  • Availability to work Saturdays and/or Sundays
  • Able to drive box truck and/or van
  • Valid Texas Driver’s License and clean driving record
  • Forklift experience helpful
  • Strong sense of customer service
  • Interest in local agriculture is a plus
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
 

Compensation and Benefits
  • Expected salary range is between $9.50-$10/hour
 

 

 

Farmers Market Cashier 

Responsibilities
  • Act as a JBG ambassador, welcoming community members to learn about the farm, our produce, and upcoming farm events
  • Eagerness and Willingness to learn about JBG’s farming practices and product and relay to market customers
  • Help unload and load market trucks including product, tents, weights, and tables at the beginning and end of each market
  • Must follow all money-handling procedures as outlined by JBG
  • Follow all rules and regulations as assigned by market manager
Qualifications
  • No previous experience required, only a desire to work.
  • Availability to work Saturdays and/or Sundays
  • Quick mental math skills required
  • Strong sense of customer service
  • Interest in local agriculture is a plus
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
 

Compensation and Benefits
  • Expected salary range is between $9.50-$10/hour
 

 

 

Farmers Market Produce Stocker

Responsibilities
  • Act as a JBG ambassador, welcoming community members to learn about the farm, our produce, and upcoming farm events
  • Eagerness and Willingness to learn about JBG’s farming practices and product and relay to market customers
  • Help unload and load market trucks including product, tents, weights, and tables at the beginning and end of each market
  • Follow all rules and regulations as defined by assigned market managers
Qualifications
  • No previous experience required, only a desire to work.
  • Availability to work Saturdays and/or Sundays
  • Strong sense of visual composition for market displays
  • Strong sense of customer service
  • Interest in local agriculture is a plus
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
 

Compensation and Benefits
  • Expected salary range is between $9.50-$10/hour
 

 

 

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.  The duties listed above are general and not an exhaustive list of tasks performed on the farm. We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

NOW HIRING BARN MECHANIC/MAINTENANCE

04/16/15 — Farm

Montana & Angel, two members of our amazing crew.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking a service mechanic to assume responsibility for maintaining our fleet of 11 delivery vehicles including cargo vans, box trucks, and two 24 ft. refrigerated trucks. This position is also responsible for general farm facility repair and maintenance at our Hergotz location, and may include repair of 7 walk-in coolers, vegetable sorting machinery. The farm mechanic/maintenance will work closely with the Farm Manager, Operations Manager, Cooler Inventory Manager, CSA Packing Manager, and Market Manager to ensure proper scheduling during our busy production time for performing repairs with minimal disruption to delivery and market schedules.

JBG offers the opportunity for community members to be provided with the best quality, locally grown, organic vegetables possible. In just 10 years, the farm went from a 30x50ft garden in an urban backyard in East Austin to a now 205-acre organic vegetable farm based on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.  Our CSA has now grown to more than 1,700 members in four major metropolises and we provide fresh, year-round, organic produce to CSA members, multiple farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery retailers, including major chains like Whole Foods and HEB/Central Market.

 

Responsibilities
  • Communicate with Hergotz Managers for scheduling of maintenance
  • Perform preventative maintenance on all delivery vehicles and production equipment.
  • Maintain current vehicle inspections and registrations
  • Ensure proper fluid levels; replacement of air and oil filters; greasing bearings, etc.
  • Oversee implementation of inventory management and ordering
  • Obtain estimates for supplies, repair parts, and equipment
  • Respond to emergency maintenance requests when needed
  • Maintain safety during essential duties
  • Oversee general farm facility repair and maintenance
 

Qualifications
  • Skilled in the use of hand and power tools
  • Knowledge of basic gas diesel and small engine troubleshooting
  • Electrical knowledge through testing and replacing electrical components and wiring
  • Ability to troubleshoot various forms of equipment
  • Maintain detailed records of repairs made and parts used
  • Flexible scheduling needed to fulfill needs of the farm
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50 pounds
  • Ability to withstand varying weather conditions
 

To Apply, please send a resume and two professional references to jobs@jbgorganic.com .

 

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.  The duties listed above are general and not an exhaustive list of tasks performed on the farm. We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

 

JBG ORGANIC TRANSPLANTS AVAILABLE UNTIL APRIL 30TH

04/16/15 — Farm

Romaine lettuce transplants.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Romaine lettuce transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Need transplants for your garden?  There's still time to order our certified organic transplants, but time is running out!  Our online transplant sale will end on April 30th.  So, don't delay - order what you need for your garden now by clicking here.

ROASTED CARROT & GINGER SOUP

04/16/15 — Farm

Roasted carrot & ginger soup Roasted carrot & ginger soup

By Jessye Hipp

Hello springtime!!  Farmers markets are bursting with beautiful carrots this time of year. This is a bright, healthy, springtime soup to use up some of those orange beauties!

Roasted Carrot & Ginger Soup

Time: 1 hr Serves: 4

-12 small or 6 large carrots, peeled and diced into large pieces

-1 onion, diced into large chunks (I used spring onions, and halved three of them)

-4 garlic cloves, smashed

-1 tbls olive oil

-salt & pepper

-1 tbls fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

-2 tbls unsalted butter

-1 cup low sodium chicken broth

-1-2 cups of water

-sour cream for garnish

-pepitas for garnish

-chives for garnish

-sriracha for garnish

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium baking dish, toss the carrots, garlic, and onions together with the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cover the dish loosely with foil and roast for 40-45 minutes until the carrots are very tender.

Transfer the roasted veggies to a food processor and add the butter and grated ginger. Blend until the mixture is a smooth puree. Add the chicken stock as needed to smooth it out.

Add ½ cup of water at a time and blend until your desired consistency.   Taste for additional salt and pepper. Add if needed.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and dollop with a small spoon of sour cream. Sprinkle with the pepitas and chives. Dot or drizzle with sriracha to finish it off. Enjoy!  YUM.

NOW HIRING FIELD CREW

04/16/15 — Farm

Chard harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking new additions to our farm field crew.  Field workers would assist in the planting, weeding, and harvesting of our produce at the Garfiled farm, located 10 miles east of the airport. Employees would work closely with the farm administrator, managers, and the head grower to ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner and that quality is maintained. The work in the fields is the backbone of all JBG operations and for that reason, provides valuable insight for individuals interested learning about organic agriculture in Central Texas. Given the importance of this work, we hold our field employees to high standards, and expect them to demonstrate a strong work ethic, ambition, and attention to detail.

JBG is an organic farm providing the community with high quality, locally grown, organic vegetables. In just 10 years, the farm went from a 30x50ft garden in an urban backyard in East Austin to a now 205-acre organic vegetable farm based on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.  Our CSA has now grown to more than 1,700 members in four major metropolises and we provide fresh, year-round, organic produce to CSA members, multiple farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery retailers, including major chains like Whole Foods and HEB/Central Market.

 

Responsibilities
  • Daily pruning and harvesting of tomatoes
  • Installing tomato stakes and/or tomato cages
  • Maintaining weed levels through hand weeding and using hand tools including scaffold/garden hoes, pruners, harvest knives, etc.
  • Removing irrigation tape and plastic for bed cleanup
  • Occasional harvesting and/or planting of vegetables transplants
  • Occasional greenhouse work including seeding, transplanting, fertilizing, and compost management
 

Qualifications
  • No previous experience required, only a desire for farm work
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
 

Compensation and Benefits
  • Expected salary range is $9.50-$10/hour.
 

To apply, please send a resume and two professional references to jobs@jbgorganic.com with “Field Crew” in the subject line.

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.  The duties listed above are general and not an exhaustive list of tasks performed on the farm. We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

TOURING OUR FIELDS

04/16/15 — Farm

Visitors on the Wholesale Tour stop to harvest carrots.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Visitors on the Wholesale Tour stop to harvest carrots. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We've had a lot of visitors are JBG this week!  First, Brenton lead a tour for our wholesale customers which including folks from Vox, Honest Lick Ice Cream, Bento Picnic, Lauren's Garden Mix, Good Earth Farm School, and Salt and Time,.  Then, he gave a tour to the Texas Farm Bureau that over 30 farmers attended.  We thank all who visited for taking the time to walk through our fields.  For those of you who didn't make it out, we hope you enjoy these photos taken by our fantastic photographer, Scott David Gordon.

Walking tour.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Wholesale walking tour. Photo by Scott David Gordon

And one of the many bees who visits the farm!  Photo by Scott David Gordon And one of the many bees who visits the farm! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Growing for Spring!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Growing for Spring! Photo by Scott David Gordon

And look at those tomatoes - they will be ripe before you know it!  Photo by Scott David Gordon And look at those tomatoes - they will be ripe before you know it! Photo by Scott David Gordon

A strawberry trial crop is looking great!  Photo by Scott David Gordon A strawberry trial crop is looking great! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Harvesting carrots.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Harvesting carrots. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Carrots!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Carrots! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Thanks to all the volunteers who lent us a hand this week including very regular helper, Jacob Crowson!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Thanks to all the volunteers who lent us a hand this week including very regular helper, Jacob Crowson! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Thank you, volunteers!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Thank you, volunteers! Photo by Scott David Gordon

JBG's Matt Pelkey pushes a full load of CSA shares.  Photo by Scott David Gordon JBG's Matt Pelkey pushes a full load of CSA shares. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our driver, Lucas, gets the CSA boxes loaded up for delivery.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our driver, Lucas, gets the CSA boxes loaded up for delivery. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Blue Skies over our fields.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Blue Skies over our fields. Photo by Scott David Gordon

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

04/16/15 — Farm

In a field of artichokes.  Photo by Scott David Gordon In a field of artichokes. Photo by Scott David Gordon

I have exciting news - we are going to be putting up two new houses at the farm.  These won't be your typical abodes, though, as they're made for bats!  Designed by bat conservationists, each structure provides enough space for 400 bats, so if all goes well, we'll have soon 800 bats residing at JBG.  While I would love to take credit for this idea, it wasn't mine.  It came from Temo, JBG's long-time Irrigation Manager and key employee.  In addition to handling irrigation for the farm, Temo also does a lot with pest management, and he thought that attracting bats would be a great way to control bugs.  I agreed, and so we will be mounting these bat houses on poles close to the river - here's to hoping that these elevated homes are irresistible to our bat friends!

We are going to be trying out another way to control pests, and this one involves a vacuum.  Yes, we will be sucking up bugs!  This way, we can target the bugs that are a nuisance to our plants and keep the ones that are beneficial.   Another way we boost our beneficial insect population is through planting flowers.  This week, we laid out the beds for half an acre of permanent flower beds at the entrance of the farm.  It is going to look beautiful, and we hope to be able to bring about 300 bunches of organically-grown flowers to the farmers markets each week.  I can't wait to see these beds in full-bloom.  In addition to the flowers, we will be establishing bee hives at JBG, so soon the place will be abuzz with even more honey bee activity!

Montana & Angel, two members of our amazing crew.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Montana & Angel, two members of our amazing crew. Photo by Scott David Gordon

I myself feel like I've been abuzz with lots of new ideas for the farm.  As you may know, I take my tape recorder with me when I go running so I can keep track of all these ideas.  This weekend, I think I had over 200 ideas while running - that's a lot to go through, especially when the speaker is out of breath!  Sometimes, I think all my new ideas make the JBG staff nervous...  I say this because often when we make a change, there's extra work involved in learning how to do things differently.  Take the decision we made not to use plastic mulch anymore.  While everyone on staff supports this decision, it has led to a lot more work.  As Temo says, the hardest part of this has been the weeds - without the plastic to control the weeds, they have gone wild!  Right now, we don't have enough tractors to implement the most efficient way of weed control, and it has left Temo and his crew struggling to keep up.  We are learning as we go here, and that can be difficult given we already have a full plate of work to accomplish each day.  The process of change can be hard, and I have to thank our crew for sticking with me through the rough parts.   I am lucky to have such an amazing staff.  They may be a little wary of all of my ideas, but they always put in the effort to make the farm a better and better place.

We hope you are enjoying the artichokes in your CSA shares!  Photo by Scott David Gordon We hope you are enjoying the artichokes in your CSA shares! Photo by Scott David Gordon

NOW HIRING TOMATO CREW LEADER

04/17/15 — Farm

colorful tomatoes

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking a team leader for our tomato packing crew.  Tomatoes are an important crop at JBG and require careful attention. The Tomato Crew Leader would be responsible for overseeing a crew of 8-10 employees and managing the sorting, packaging, and fulfillment of tomato orders. Tomato crew members should also expect to occasionally help harvest tomatoes, when needed. This position works closely the wholesale department, as well the farm administrator, managers, and the head grower. Competitive candidates should demonstrate experience working with tomatoes, attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and an ability to manage and prioritize several tasks at once. This is a seasonal position with the potential, though workers demonstrating dedication and a strong work ethic may be considered for other opportunities within JBG after the season has ended.

JBG is an organic farm offering the community high quality, locally grown, organic vegetables. In just 10 years, the farm went from a 30x50ft garden in an urban backyard in East Austin to a now 205-acre organic vegetable farm based on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model.  Our CSA has now grown to more than 1,700 members in four major metropolises and we provide fresh, year-round, organic produce to CSA members, multiple farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery retailers, including major chains like Whole Foods and HEB/Central Market.

 

Responsibilities
  • Oversee crew of 8-10 people in tomato packing and production
  • Communicate between team leaders for packing organization
  • Facilitate sorting and packing between two farm locations
  • Daily pruning and harvesting of tomatoes
  • Installing tomato stakes and/or tomato cages
  • Maintaining weed levels through hand weeding and using hand tools including scaffold/garden hoes, pruners, harvest knives, etc.
 

Qualifications
  • Previous experience on the field crew working with tomato production
 

Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
 

Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation is dependent on experience. Expected salary range is $10.50-$11.50/hour.
 

 

To apply, please send a resume and two professional references to jobs@jbgorganic.com with “Tomato Lead” in the subject line.

 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.  The duties listed above are general and not an exhaustive list of tasks performed on the farm. We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 20TH

04/20/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 20th CSA Box Contents Week of April 20th

Large Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Salad Mix
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine
Onion, Spring Red
Parsnip
Medium Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine
Onion, Spring Red
Radish, French Breakfast
Small Box
Carrot, Orange
Garlic, Mexican
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Salad Mix
Herb, Parsley, Flat
Leek
Parsnip
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 20TH

04/21/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 20th CSA Box Contents Week of April 20th

Medium Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine
Onion, Spring Red
Radish, French Breakfast

SHAVED CARROT SALAD

04/23/15 — Farm

FullSizeRender

By Jessye Hipp

Shaved Carrot Salad

Time: 15 mins Serves: 2

-6 small, or 4 medium, carrots (I used a blend of orange, white, and red carrots)

-4 radishes, thinly sliced

-1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds

-grated or shaved parmesan (whatever you have on hand is great)

-2 tbls fresh parsley, roughly chopped

-salt & pepper

-4tbls herb olive oil

-1/2 lemon, juiced

Using either a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the carrots into long shavings.   Repeat this process with the radishes.

In a medium bowl, combine the herb olive oil, lemon juice, and a generous sprinkling of salt & pepper. Mix well.

Toss the carrots in the vinaigrette.

To assemble the salads, mound the carrot shavings in the center of a plate, sprinkle with radishes, sunflower seeds, Parmesan, parsley, and another sprinkling of salt & pepper. Drizzle the top of the salad with the remainder of the vinaigrette.

Take a step back to admire your beautiful salad… and ENJOY! J

Feel free to add other shaved veggies to your salad as well! Good options for this would be asparagus, zucchini, cucumber, bell pepper, or red onion. The possibilities are endless!

SEEDS OF CHANGE: VOTE FOR FARMSHARE!

04/23/15 — Farm

Vote for Farmshare & help them grow vegetables for our community.  Photo by Carrie Kenny Vote for Farmshare & help them grow vegetables for our community. Photo by Carrie Kenny

Here's a way you can help Farmshare Austin - all it takes it a click-a-day online between now and April 27th! Farmshare is in the running for a Seeds of Change Grant that will enable them to continue operating a farmers market at the Safe Place shelter once a week. Vegetables for the market are harvested at Farmshare's educational farm and then the produce is donated to the Safeplace residents.

Please help Farmshare Austin maintain this worthy program by clicking here.  To ensure that your vote goes to the right place, first click on the Vote Now tab and search under "Garden Name" using Farmshare Austin.

You can also help by spreading the word and getting your friends to vote for Farmshare.  Thank you for taking the time to vote between now and April 27th!  Farmshare needs all of the clicks it can get to win!

GETTING READY FOR TOMATOES

04/23/15 — Farm

Tomato stakes go into the ground.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomato stakes go into the ground. Photo by Scott David Gordon

It's hard to believe it's that time of year - time to get the tomato stakes into the ground.  Yes, Summer is coming, whether we want it or not.  At least there are lots of summer vegetables to look forward to - including all of those tomatoes!

Lots of rows to go.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Lots of rows to go. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Eric pounds in a stake.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Eric pounds in a stake. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Soon, we will have tomatoes!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Soon, we will have tomatoes! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Lots more to go... Photo by Scott David Gordon Lots more to go... Photo by Scott David Gordon

Yellow squash!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Yellow squash! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Check out those blossoms!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Check out those blossoms! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Leek harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Galdino harvests leeks. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Just harvested leeks.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Just harvested leeks. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A lady bug at the Garfield farm.  Photo by Scott David Gordon A lady bug at the Garfield farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our Garfield farm.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our Garfield farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

04/23/15 — Farm

Our GARFIELD farm.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our GARFIELD farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

I have always liked looking at maps, so it's no wonder that I also love using Google Earth.  It's funny, I don't get to leave the farm much, but using Google Earth I can tour the world.  I probably spend way too much time looking at farmland online  - it's kind of like spending my day in the real fields and then turning to virtual fields at night. It's not that bad - I don't do it every night - but I do love to see what I can find out there.  And, you would be amazed at what can be learned and the ideas I get just by using Google Earth.

It was through looking at maps that I recently made a discovery about our farm.  All this time, I thought our farm at River Road was in Cedar Creek, TX.  It turns out, though, that almost 80% of our land is in Garfield, TX.  I did some research, and when you have property like ours that is split between two towns, your address is determined by access to the property.  We have three access points at JBG, but the primary one is in Garfield.  To me, this is big news!  I love Garfield, and I'm thrilled to know that JBG can officially claim to be part of this quaint little Texas town.  I am so happy about it that I want to change the way we refer to our farm out here.  As you know, I usually just call it River Road.  Not any more - now, it is the Garfield farm!

I have been getting onto some of our employees about using the new name - so much so that I've been a bit like a broken record....  "Not River Road...Garfield!"  I think they finally get it though - check out this picture that's been going around:

I said Garfield!  Photo by Scott David Gordon I said Garfield! Photo by Scott David Gordon

So, all CSA members - I hope to see you out at the Garfield farm on May 9th from 6pm to 8:30pm for the CSA potluck.  This event is free and is exclusively for our current CSA members and families.  It will be much more intimate than the hoedown.  I really love connecting one-on-one with the people who eat what we grow - plus, I need to thank you for supporting us every week through your CSA membership.  Since we are the Live Music Capital of the World, we will have to have some good music and, since it is a CSA member potluck, I know we will have really good food. Come hang out, bring the kids to play in the big sand pile, and bring a dish to share and your favorite beverage of choice.  I want you to see how the crops are doing and to see where your food is grown - out in Garfield!  For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

Hit the Spot is located inside the Garfield Library Hit the Spot is located inside the Garfield Library

And on your way out here, be sure to check out the little town of Garfield -  I say "little" because it's population is less than 2,000, but it's full of charm.  It is the only place I know of that has a library that also shares space with a diner!  This diner/library is right on 71, and it is called Hit the Spot.  To me, this seems like a great community/business partnership.  Plus, they serve really good food for breakfast and lunch - go check it out and see what you think.  Maybe then you'll understand why I'm so happy to be located in Garfield!

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 27TH

04/28/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Wk of Apr 27th CSA Box Contents Week of April 27th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Garlic, Mexican
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Basil
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Garlic, Mexican
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Small Box
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Salad Mix
Herb, Cilantro
Leek
Onion, Red
Squash, Zucchini
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Leek
Squash, Zucchini

CSA BOX CONTENTS WK OF APR 27TH

04/28/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Wk of Apr 27th CSA Box Contents Wk of Apr 27th

Medium Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Leek
Lettuce, Romaine
Onion, Spring Red
Parsnip
Squash, Zucchini

FARMGRASS FEST IS THIS SUNDAY, MAY 3RD!

04/30/15 — Farm

4003284

Farmgrass Fest 2015 is coming up soon on Sunday, May 3rd!  Ticket proceeds benefit the Growers Alliance of Central Texas' Farmers Emergency Medical Fund, so come hear some good tunes and help support the farmers in our community!  Here are the details:

When: Sunday, May 3rd from 1pm to 9pm

Where: Simmons Family Farms in Niederwald, Texas

Musical Lineup: The Gravy Brothers + Special Guests, Whiskey Shivers, The Lost Pines, Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay's High Plains Jamboree, Fog & Bone, Devin Jake, Rock Bottom String Band, and Four Fights Per Pint

To get your tickets, please click here!

CSA MEMBER POTLUCK MAY 9TH

04/30/15 — Farm

All CSA members - join us for a potluck on May 9th!  Photo by Scott David Gordon All CSA members - join us for a potluck on May 9th! Photo by Scott David Gordon

CSA Members!  Mark your calendars for the CSA Potluck on the afternoon/evening of May 9th from 6pm to 8pm at 4008 River Road This event is free and is exclusively for current CSA members and their families.  Here at JBG, we want to have the chance to personally thank you for supporting us week-in and week-out through your membership.  The CSA has always been at the heart of our farm, and we hope all members will come out on May 9th to celebrate being part of this amazing community.  We will have live music - and the food is certain to be out of this world since we have some really good cooks in this fine group of people!

Please kindly RSVP by clicking here if you can make it.  Hope to see you there!

SUMMER IS COMING!

04/30/15 — Farm

Basil, a sure sign that summer is coming.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Basil growing in our high tunnel greenhouse. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Things are warming up out there, and it won't be long until Summer is here.  We are making progress on all those tomato stakes, but we still have more to go!  Meanwhile, the tomatoes we have growing in our high tunnel greenhouse look great!  Thanks, Scott, for documenting the process and for getting shots of this week's harvest.

Tomatoes growing in our high tunnel greenhouse.  Soon, they will be growing in the fields, too!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomatoes growing in our high tunnel greenhouse. Soon, they will be growing in the fields, too! Photo by Scott David Gordon

High tunnel greenhouse tomatoes.  Photo by Scott David Gordon High tunnel greenhouse tomatoes. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Tomato close up.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomato close up. Photo by Scott David Gordon

 

Collard harvest as seen from above.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Collard harvest as seen from above. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A collard leaf catches the sun.  Photo by Scott David Gordon A collard leaf catches the sun. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We're still getting all of those stakes in the ground!  Photo by Scott David Gordon We're still getting all of those stakes in the ground! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Squash blossom.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Squash blossom. Photo by Scott David Gordon

150430_SDG230160

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

04/30/15 — Farm

Riding out to the field.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Riding out to the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

I’m inspired! Things are going so well right now, I feel like I am on fire!  Really, I have never been so excited and full of ideas in my life - and for me, that's saying a lot.  I have been wondering about what has been making me feel especially passionate about farming these days.  Believe it or not, I think the answer is team-work.

I say believe it or not because I am not one who naturally gravitates towards working in a group.  I tend to like to do things myself.  It's funny, but when I was back at Auburn in college studying agricultural engineering, I remember being given a group assignment to design a 3-point hitch log-grapple - a tool that rural landowners could use to pick up fallen trees with a tractor and haul them away.  I really got into the assignment…so much so that I went home that night and sketched out the design.  But I didn't stop there.  I went to the back dock of a local Sears department store and found some old refrigerator boxes and drew out the design, cut it out and made a working model that night.  The next day, I biked over to school while carrying my proto-type log-grapple.  I was so proud, I announced to my group, "Here it is!"  The thing is, though, I had missed the whole point of the assignment.  I didn't get the chance to work with my group or to see what creative ideas they might come up with.

It is now 20+ years later, and I am just now beginning to understand the true value of team-work.  I have always known the importance of our amazing staff at JBG - clearly, without their hard work and dedication, the farm wouldn't be where it is today.  I think what I have failed to fully appreciate is the wealth of ideas and knowledge our employees bring to their jobs every day.  I like to think of myself as the primary idea man, and when I do this to the exclusion of others, I am just like that kid back in college rushing home to do the assignment all by himself.  Over the past several weeks, though, I have noticed a real shift in myself.  It was not a conscious decision – it something that I stumbled upon by accident really - but since I seriously want to our farm to be the best organic farm in the World, I decided to have a contest. I love competition, and I think that sometimes I may be a little too competitive - I have to watch it. But that day, I came into the office full of energy and announced to our farm office staff that I needed 5 minutes of their time.  Then, I got on the CB Radio and called in all the crew leaders.

All of us were sitting around the front office together in our old intern trailer now converted to our farm office. I gave everyone 5 sheets of paper and announced the rules of the game with enthusiasm, “I want everyone to take a minute and see what ideas you all have to make the farm better.”  What better way to spur a little competition, I thought, then to offer a little incentive?  So, I also offered cash!  After the 5 minutes were almost up, the creative juices were still flowing with everyone, so I could see that we couldn’t stop now.  They agreed to extend the game for another 5 minutes.  Then, everyone presented their ideas to the group. We made several changes right then and there to address the easy fixes. For the bigger ideas and longer term improvements, the managers agreed to split up the workload and each take some of the sheets of ideas and develop a plan to prioritize and rank the suggestions to make a farm improvement plan. What I discovered in this quick little meeting was that teamwork and empowerment have tremendous potential.

Those pesky worms.  Those pesky worms.

In addition to my own high energy, I have noticed our crew has been really engaged in this process, too.  For example, Temo, Head Grower, has started to call me after work hours with new ideas.  Since I love talking about farming, I can think of nothing better.  His initiative really helped out a lot this week with a problem we have been having with the squash and cucumbers we are growing.  The problem has to do with cucumber beetle larvae, and I mean a lot of them!  We looked closely at one square foot of planting and found we had nearly 15 worms in that square foot alone!  This year our planting of squash and cucumber have really been attacked by cucumber beetles as soon as they sprout from the ground. We have been trying everything to address the problem. In talking with other Texas growers recently, I have found that we are not alone. This made me feel better. Much of this increased bug problem is tied to the cool weather and all of the rain we had this Spring.  Temo, however, has been repeatedly telling me that he thought it was due to our decision not to use plastic mulch on these crops.

I was resolute, though, that we not go back to using plastic; instead, I told Temo that we needed to find another solution. So Temo and I called our friend Dr. Kevin Crosby at Texas A&M. He teaches commercial vegetable production at the College Station campus. Kevin said he, too, was having problems with his research plot in Uvalde this year which was utilizing plastic mulch, so this helped us ruled out the plastic as the culprit to the problem.

Kevin said that he would try to get us some help from his entomology colleges, but he warned me that most of their approach and proposed solutions would most likely be conventional, non-organic solutions that we as organic farmers couldn't use. While Kevin at Texas A&M continued to work on finding us an organic solution, Temo came up with one all on his own. He went home that night and did his research. The next day, he used a mixture of rosemary and herbal oils in the drip irrigation water that succeeded in killing the cucumber beetle larvae! I was amazed and thanked him for his dogged work on the problem. I thought for sure we would have a total crop loss. His dedication to the farm both during and after work hours is really appreciated - he truly deserves the title of Head Grower.

Back in colder days...working with Temo on irrigation design.  Photo by Carrie Kenny Back in colder days...working with Temo on irrigation design. Photo by Carrie Kenny

It is true that our decision to not use plastic mulch anymore has caused some difficulties. I believe in the long run, though, it will prove to have been worth the effort. I say this because I have been thinking a lot about the goals and mission of the farm. As a team, we have been hard at work at updating our mission and vision for the farm– and as soon as we perfect it, I will post it here. What I do know is that I want the farm to be a great place for our employees to work, I want it to provide our community with the highest quality certified organic vegetables possible, and I want our organic growing practices to be as sustainable as possible and a model for organic farms. Basically, I want our farm to be a force of good in our community. In this way, I find myself connecting back to that idealistic college student I was decades ago. Now, if I could just get that concept of teamwork down....
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