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LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

WEEK 13 IN PHOTOS

04/01/16 — Farm

 

Cultivating in between potato rows. Photo by Scott David Gordon Cultivating in between potato rows. Photo by Scott David Gordon

After a great spring celebration last weekend, it's back to work for your farmers! This week our potatoes are looking fantastic in the field, especially after a nice cultivation and hilling. Expect to see the first of our new potatoes coming up in the next month or so. We were also excited to have the crew out from Natural Epicurean for a tour of the farm this week. Thanks to the whole group for coming out and getting their hands dirty with us!

Potato field. Photo by Scott David Gordon Potato field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

The winter collard crop is flowering like crazy right now. Great for pollinators! Photo by Scott David Gordon The winter collard crop is flowering like crazy right now. Great for pollinators! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Katie talks to the crew at Natural Epicurean at our Garfield farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon Katie talks to the crew at Natural Epicurean at our Garfield farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Weeding a patch of golden beets. Photo by Scott David Gordon Weeding a patch of golden beets. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A few culinary students help out in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon A few culinary students help out in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Volunteers also helped plant more squash this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon Volunteers also helped plant more squash this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Farm dog and volunteer coordinator says, "put your back into it everyone!" Photo by Scott David Gordon Farm dog and volunteer coordinator says, "put your back into it everyone!" Photo by Scott David Gordon

Assistant Farm Manager Jason spreading amendments. Photo by Scott David Gordon Assistant Farm Manager Jason spreading amendments. Photo by Scott David Gordon

THANK YOU! SPRING PICNIC IN PHOTOS

04/01/16 — Farm

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Thank you, thank you to everybody who came out to the Garfield Farm last Saturday for our annual Spring Picnic and 5k Garden Gallop! We love hosting this event at JBG because it brings together so many great members of our CSA community and friends from all over Austin and this year's event was no exception. We loved seeing familiar faces and were excited to meet new community members too - we even had visitors from outside of Austin for the event! This week we're recapping the Spring Picnic and Garden Gallop in photos and giving a huge thank you to all of the folks who made this event happen.

Some gallopers, including farmer Brenton and farm dog Roxie! Some gallopers, including farmer Brenton and farm dog Roxie!

Thank you to Rogue Running! Without Rogue, we would be lost in a cabbage patch somewhere on the farm. But seriously, these guys are the reason the Garden Gallop and the fall Harvest Hustles are such a success every year. They help us organize the event and are such a huge hand day of, marking out the entire race, providing volunteers and hydration stations, and making it easy to host this fun and unique 5k!

IMG_8898 The first runner crosses the farm-themed finish line of the 2016 Garden Gallop. Congrats on the win!

IMG_8927 Thanks to everyone, big and small, who came and ran our course last weekend!

Thank you to our food and drink sponsors! Barrett's Coffee fueled staff and runners by generously providing us with some of their delicious coffee Saturday morning. Frank Hot Dogs provided the perfect post-race treat for runners and non-runners alike with their food truck - a great supporter of the farm, we were so happy they came out last Saturday! And, a huge thanks to The ABGB. These local brew-kings are the longest standing sponsor of JBG events, and they always come through generously to help us repay our bands by providing tasty, cold beer!

IMG_8935 Thanks, Frank Hot Dogs!

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Thanks to the bands! After the race, everyone settled in with food and drinks on the lawn and enjoyed a great day of picnicking to the sounds of Bottom Dollar String Band, Doug Moreland, and Chansons et Soulard. All three bands were fantastic - we were blown away by the talent. One especially exciting moment was when Doug Moreland brought a very guest to the stage for his performance - his dad!

The Morelands with Brenton. We can see the family resemblance! The Morelands with Brenton. We can see the family resemblance!

Chansons et Soulards brought the Cajun jams to the farm. Chansons et Soulards brought the Cajun jams to the farm.

Thank you to our volunteers! Without this amazing group of folks dedicating their time to setup, admissions, parking, and cleanup, we couldn't put this event on every year. This year's Picnic couldn't have run any smoother, and it certainly has a lot to do with this awesome group. (P.S. - Interested in weekend volunteer opportunities in the future?? Email us at volunteer@jbgorganic.com to let us know and we'll keep you in the loop when weekend slots are available!)

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And of course, another huge thank you to our community for coming out. We've been through so many ups and downs since last year's picnic - two floods last year alone! We are all so proud to say that the farm looks better than ever, and it was really a special day to be able to invite you all out to enjoy and celebrate the bounty of a new Spring season with us. Thanks for being a part of our farm family, and we can't wait to bring you out again this Fall!

Tractor tires make for good seats to see the bands! Tractor tires make for good seats to see the bands!

IMG_8942 Dancer extraordinaire Annie (left) and a CSA member (right) that came all the way from Houston to celebrate with us!

IMG_8918 JBG recipe blogger Megan Winfrey and her daughter Lou enjoy some tunes.

IMG_8878 The Kids Fun Run was a big success! Two runners and mom round the artichoke corner to finish out the race.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 4TH

04/05/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 4th CSA Box Contents Week of April 4th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Spring Red
Parsnip
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Spring Red
Potato, Sweet
Small Box
Artichoke
Carrot, Red
Greens, Braising Mix
Greens, Collards
Herb, Cilantro
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Radish, Red
Individual Box
Artichoke
Carrot, Red
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Potato, Sweet

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 4TH

04/05/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 4th CSA Box Contents Week of April 4th

Medium Box
Artichoke
Beet, Chioggia
Carrot, Rainbow
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red

PURPLE POT PIE

04/06/16 — Farm

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by Megan Winfrey

Pot pie is one of those classic American meals that seems to hold a dear place in the hearts of almost everyone. But me? I've only recently discovered the heaven that is pot pie, because it just wasn't something my mother made growing up. She didn't have the affinity for putting things in pie crusts like I do. So, that being said, welcome to my first ever pot pie recipe. (I can hear the crowd roaring the background, can you?) If anything is certain, it's that my children will know the glory of pot pie in it's many versatile forms. They may even get sick of it, if that's possible.

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Purple Pot Pie
  • 4 scarlet turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 6 purple carrots, washed and chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 store bought or homemade pie crusts (here's a simple pie crust recipe)
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Preheat the oven to 375ºF

Lay the chopped turnips and carrots on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until fork tender, about 30 minutes.

In a heavy skillet, heat the butter over medium and add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and the butter begins to brown. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, thyme, broth, and half and half. Cook, whisking, until no lumps remain then simmer on low until the gravy thickens. Taste and add more seasoning if you prefer.

When the turnips and carrots are done, raise the oven temperature to 425ºF.

Fold the chopped parsley into the turnips and carrots and set aside.

Roll out one of your pie doughs on a floured surface (or open and unroll store bought dough) and lay it in a 9" pie pan.

Scoop in the turnips and carrots and top with the gravy. Carefully place the other pie dough on top and cinch the edges with a fork or your fingertips. With a small knife, make a few slits in the top crust, then brush beaten egg over the top crust and edges.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

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WEEK 14 IN PHOTOS

04/08/16 — Farm

This year's fennel is some of the best we've ever grown! Photo by Scott David Gordon This year's fennel is some of the best we've ever grown! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Another busy week on the farm gone by! We are starting to see a wealth of Spring crops ready for harvest as the winter plantings are slowly replaced. Fennel and lettuce are both coming in strong, and we saw the first signs of grapes this week! We've started the process of curing our garlic crop- we'll dry the crop in our greenhouses in order to increase it's storage life and prevent disease. It sure smells great in there! The fields are bountiful right now and we are gearing up for some great spring farmers markets. See you there!

Fennel. Photo by Scott David Gordon Fennel. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Jason points out a block on our big field map. Photo by Scott David Gordon Jason points out a block on our field map to Angel and Vicente. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We started curing garlic in our greenhouses this week! Photo by Scott David Gordon We started curing garlic in our greenhouses this week! Photo by Scott David Gordon

If only the internet has smell-o-vision. Photo by Scott David Gordon If only the internet has smell-o-vision. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A curly kale harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon A curly kale harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Itty bitty grapes on the vine. Our first crop! Photo by Scott David Gordon Itty bitty grapes on the vine. Our first crop! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Romaine. Photo by Scott David Gordon Romaine. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our lettuce crop is really in full swing these days. Photo by Scott David Gordon Our lettuce crop is really in full swing these days. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Kohlrabi is here, destined for markets this weekend! Photo by Scott David Gordon Kohlrabi is here, destined for markets this weekend! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Dandelion greens in the sunshine. Photo by Scott David Gordon Dandelion greens in the sunshine. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Dandelions are a bitter green that is great for your health! Photo by Scott David Gordon Dandelions are a bitter green that is great for your health! Photo by Scott David Gordon

JBG's artichoke crop is still growing strong. Photo by Scott David Gordon JBG's artichoke crop is still growing strong. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Bunching cilantro in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon Bunching cilantro in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Field of tomatoes coming along for summer! Photo by Scott David Gordon Field of tomatoes coming along for summer! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Look out for Broccoli to make it's return to markets this weekend. Photo by Scott David Gordon Look out for Broccoli to make it's return to markets this weekend. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cabbage growing at our farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon Cabbage growing at our farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: CSA MANAGER MATT PELKEY

04/08/16 — Farm

Matt Pelkey, CSA Manager Matt Pelkey, CSA Manager. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Today on the blog, we're introducing you to JBG's longest standing employee, our CSA Manager, Matt. Matt has been working for the farm since it was only just a backyard garden and has helped the farm to grow so much over the years. He's in charge of our CSA program, and by our (very rough) calculations, has packed over 220,000 CSA boxes since starting at the farm!

If you're a member of our CSA program, meet the guy who personally inspects your box each week - we thought you might want to know a little bit more about him. Matt is a man of very few words, but we were able to squeeze a few questions out of him. We hope that you enjoy learning a little bit more about one of the faces behind our CSA program!

Where did you grow up and what brought you to JBG?

I grew up in northern Maine, and about ten or so years ago I drove down to Austin looking for a change of scenery. Brenton put an ad of craigslist looking for a farmhand in the backyard - at the time I was working a job with half day Fridays, so I answered the ad and started working on Friday afternoons and Saturdays in the backyard. We would harvest and pack all the CSA boxes ourselves, then drive around town delivering them. On the way home, we'd usually grab a few beers and enjoy them in the backyard.

Any special memories from the original backyard garden?

After the farm's first expansion to Hergotz Ln, I moved into the back house at the Holly St location. So for a few years, the backyard garden turned into my personal garden which was pretty cool.

Matt and the CSA packing crew in the barn. Photo by Scott David Gordon Matt and the CSA packing crew in the barn. Photo by Scott David Gordon

What is your current role at JBG?

Every week, I look at the farm's availability calendar and plan out the contents of CSA boxes for the next week. I weigh in on crop planning, letting the team know what crops do best and not so well in boxes. On a daily basis, I'm the head of our CSA packing line - I oversee quality control on the boxes and make sure they get filled correctly and sent to the right spot. At this point, I can pick up a box at the end of the packing line and, without looking into it, tell you if something is missing.

What's been the biggest change at the farm since you've started? Any surprising moments?

I think it's amazing that we've grown so much and been able to grow from a backyard to such a big farm. I remember when we first got to Hergotz and realized we had so many more CSA boxes to pack, and that we were going to have to shift our organizational structure and hire a few people to help us out.

Looking back, it's funny that that crew was still packing boxes on the floor of the barn for the first few years. This January, we hit an all time high for number of boxes packed in a single week - seeing that number and remembering the backyard garden days was pretty shocking.

Matt inspects each and every CSA box before it's sent out to a customer. Photo by Scott David Gordon Matt inspects each and every CSA box before it's sent out to a customer. Photo by Scott David Gordon

What's your life look life off the farm?

I have two boys and spend a lot of time with them. We just recently bought canoes, so we've been kayaking and canoeing on the lake and the Colorado River. I've been gardening with them too - we've been planting tomatoes, peppers, and garlic.

Matt's music collection, via Instagram. Matt's music collection, via Instagram.

What kind of music do you put on in the barn?

I listen to a lot of country and bluegrass - Hayes Carll, Todd Snider are two favorites these days. We listened to Merle all day in the barn on Wednesday in memory.

Favorite and least favorite veggies?

I really don't like eggplant at all, and cucumbers are probably my favorite - I just eat them whole all summer.

via Instagram via Instagram

Favorite Austin businesses?

I've been spending time at Hops and Grain and The ABGB a lot recently. [fun fact: Matt's been wearing the orange ABGB hat pictured pretty much every day since we did a hat swap with the ABGB in November. Before that he was wearing a green hat from Callahan's, the general store right around the corner. Matt's green Callahan's hat was signed by Willie Nelson!]

Staff Survey: If Matt was a veggie, which one would he be and why?

Ada: An artichoke - he's got a big heart under a whole lotta layers! Once you've been around him for a while you learn how awesome and interesting Matt is - just like how an artichoke blooms into that big beautiful purple flower!

Krishna: A cabbage - Matt has a very pure center hiding under a lot of layers!

Brenton: I think there's a french fingerling potato named after a rat, and Matt is as quiet as a mouse. After some thought.. Raton potato!

Mike Mo: A beet - they are always around at the farm, just like Matt.

Thanks for all your hard work, Matt! Photo by Scott David Gordon Thanks for all your hard work, Matt! Photo by Scott David Gordon

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 11TH

04/12/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 11th CSA Box Contents Week of April 11th

Large Box
Artichoke
Broccoli
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red
Medium Box
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Parsnip
Radish, Red
Small Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Potato, Sweet
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Turnip, White Japanese

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 11TH

04/12/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 11th CSA Box Contents Week of April 11th

Medium Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Spring Red
Potato, Sweet

HIPSTER'S KALE PIZZA

04/13/16 — Farm

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by Megan Winfrey

An old friend of mine recently turned me onto a new cookbook by photographer and seasonal food enthusiast Rohan Anderson. It's called "A Year in Practiculture," and it is right up the alley of anyone who would subscribe to a local CSA program. Anderson's lifestyle of living off the land is humble and inspiring. He makes this enviable way of life seem totally attainable, even for those of us who can't quit the city and retire to a plot of uncharted land. The recipes are simple, and simply delicious. The writing is funny and unpretentious. It's been on our coffee table for about 2 weeks, and my husband and I have both gotten lost in it on numerous occasions. Even our one year old has enjoyed flipping through the stunning, thick pages filled with gorgeous food and farm photography.

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The recipe I've chosen to share this week is so simple, and the flavors blew me away. I did use store bought pizza dough mix, which isn't what Mr. Anderson intended, but oh well it's delicious either way! I know you will all love this recipe and be left wanting more, so I've included more info about "A Year in Practiculture" is at the bottom of this post! Enjoy.

Hipster's Kale Pizza
  • 1-2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2-3 cups kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 pizza base, homemade or not
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 slice of bacon, rough chopped
  • 3 oz. blue cheese, sliced
Preheat oven to 425ºF

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Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over low heat. Add the garlic and gently cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the kale and cook until wilted, adding water or white wine if it starts to dry out. It will take about 10 minutes for the kale to become fully tender, so test it as you go. Dust your hands and work surface in flour and begin to spread out your pizza dough on a baking sheet or pizza stone. I found that pulling the dough in opposite directions GENTLY with fingertips worked well. Be patient and generous with the flour, because this dough can be sticky and tricky.

Smother with the tomato paste, then spoon over as much kale as you like. Sprinkle over the mozzarella, lay the bacon pieces out evenly, drizzle the whole thing with olive oil, and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown.

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When done, remove from the oven and immediately top with slices of blue cheese. They will melt gloriously. Slice and serve.

Here is the link to buy "A Year in Practiculture" by Rohan Anderson. It's an absoulte steal with Amazon Prime!

WEEK 15 IN PHOTOS

04/15/16 — Farm

A full bed of parsley. Photo by Scott David Gordon A full bed of parsley. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Scott caught a gorgeous sunrise at the JBG Garfield Farm this week - we had a nice deep rain on Wednesday night, and while the farm is a bit muddy, the mornings sure have been beautiful. Our summer veggies are really coming along nicely in the field, and the springs plantings of greens, herbs and even some cabbage and root crops are in full harvest. Enjoy this week's photos!

Thanks for catching this great sunrise, Scott! Photo by Scott David Gordon Thanks for catching this great sunrise, Scott! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Spring fields after our heavy rains this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon Spring fields after our heavy rains this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Katie staking and trellising the grapes. Photo by Scott David Gordon Katie staking and trellising the grapes. Photo by Scott David Gordon

The farm is looking forward to our first, small grape crop this year. Photo by Scott David Gordon The farm is looking forward to our first, small grape crop this year. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Collard greens happy in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon Collard greens happy in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We've got lots of greens at markets this weekend, including these dandelions. Photo by Scott David Gordon We've got lots of greens at markets this weekend, including these dandelions. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Have you had this year's artichokes yet? Photo by Scott David Gordon Have you had this year's artichokes yet? Photo by Scott David Gordon

Charlotte holds up some of the first new potatoes of the year! Photo by Scott David Gordon Charlotte holds up some of the first new potatoes of the year! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Beets ready for harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon Beets ready for harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

FIELD NOTES FROM WEEK 15

04/15/16 — Farm

Scott catches a beautiful sunrise on the farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon Scott catches a beautiful sunrise on the farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We've been so busy picnic-ing, selling transplants, and featuring our incredible staff that it feels like we haven't checked you in with the JBG fields recently. We've been as busy as ever keeping the farm running, and Week 15 marked a notable shift in the tasks at hand on the farm. Here's what we've been up to this week...

One of the most noticeable shifts these days is that our spring transplanting frenzy is at it's end. It seems like the transplant crew has been going nonstop since the JBG greenhouses were bursting at the seams back in January. Now, those same greenhouses are all but empty and we've hit a little calm before the "storm" of summer crops is here. Before you know it, we're all going to be swimming in tomatoes, melons, peppers and more, but for now we're enjoy the spring season.

Look out for new potatoes, another crop we just started harvesting this week! Photo by Scott David Gordon Look out for new potatoes, another crop we just started harvesting this week! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Some new crops will be making their appearance on our market tables and in your CSA boxes soon. We are starting to harvest our spring crop of cabbage this week - we'll have green, red, and savoy cabbage starting this weekend at markets. Our spring crop of broccoli is heading up as well! This is a CSA favorite, and members can look forward to full spring broccoli heads in their shares for the coming few weeks. The summer squash from our high tunnel continues to produce well, and we even saw the first few okra pods on our early spring crop coming out this week! Also check out the photos of our grape crop - we've been working hard to install irrigation, bamboo staking and trellising this week and the plants are really looking great.

Katie has been working hard on our grapes. Thanks, Katie! Photo by Scott David Gordon Katie has been working hard on our grapes. Thanks, Katie! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our new harvest trailers have really been exceeding my expectations - especially as some heavy crops start to come in. Even more than me, the JBG harvest crew has REALLY been loving these trailers!  Harvesting broccoli, squash, cucumbers, potatoes (and many more) heavy crops used to be a very laborious. The harvest crew would fill up bins of veggies moving down the rows - once these bins were full, they were carried to the end of the bed to put into the harvest trucks. This meant carrying bins that weigh anywhere from 20-60lb (or more!) up to 200 ft! Now you know why I'm always so impressed by the hard work and dedication of our farm staff. Now, once a bin is full, it's placed right onto the arm of the harvest trailer and brought in with the tractor. The engineer in me loves a tool that makes harvest more efficient, and the farmer in me loves that we are able to better care for JBG employees by significantly cutting out a lot of heavy lifting.

The arm of these harvest trailers cover 5 beds. We can now harvest right onto the trailer instead of carrying bins to the end of a row! Photo by Scott David Gordon The arm of these harvest trailers cover 5 beds. We can now harvest right onto the trailer instead of carrying bins to the end of a row! Photo by Scott David Gordon

If you're interested to hear more about what's going on in the JBG fields, and how we developed ideas and systems for the farm, I hope you'll take some time to listen to a chat I had with Chris Blanchard of the Farmer to Farmer Podcast. I was honored that Chris asked me to come onto the show - we got to talk about everything from the nitty gritty of our farm's management, to challenges of growing year-round here in Central Texas, and even the story behind the JBG branding and logo. Thanks so much for having me, Chris, I really enjoyed it!

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: HELP US PAINT A JBG VAN!

04/15/16 — Farm

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Do you have painting experience? Want to see your handiwork delivering organic veggies all over town? JBG just added a new cargo van to our delivery fleet, and are looking for a few volunteers this upcoming Monday, April 18th to help paint her up!

We're sending all of our volunteers home with a box of veggies to thank them for their time - if you're interested in helping out, please email Ada at ada@jbgorganic.com mentioning your painting experience and availability this Monday, 4/18.

NOW HIRING CSA PACKING CREW!

04/15/16 — Farm

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Position Title: CSA Packing Crew

Location: Austin, TX

Reports To: CSA Manager Supervises: N/A

Position Summary:

JBG Organic is seeking an individual to join the CSA packing crew. The packing crew will be responsible for washing, processing, and packing vegetables harvested on the farm, including preparing wholesale and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) orders. This position is also responsible for ensuring produce quality and compliance with health regulations. The worker will work closely with the barn manager, wholesale coordinator, and CSA manager to guarantee that operations and orders are completed correctly and in a timely manner. All farm employees are expected to be courteous, demonstrate a strong work ethic and attention to detail. We take pride on the farm in producing the highest quality vegetables through quality work.

 

Responsibilities:
  • Receive, process, and package vegetables harvested on the farm
  • Maintain a clean and sanitary working environment
  • Ensure quality of all produce
  • Prepare and package CSA orders for distribution
  • Ensure that CSA boxes are packed according to customers’ customization and farms’ quality standards  
Qualifications

Required:
  • No previous experience required, only a desire to produce industry and farm work.
  • Keen sense of detail and ability to apply this to packing standards
  • Monday-Friday 8am - 4:30pm
  • Ability to stay late as harvest requires
  • A mantra that “Teamwork doesn’t seem work!”
Preferred:

Previous experience in a warehouse setting, or with produce standards.

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 sitting, standing, or walking

Ability or willingness to be trained on a forklift

Schedule: Full-time. Monday-Friday 8am - 4:30pm.

Compensation & Benefits: Compensation is dependent on experience. Expected salary range is $10/hr. Paid bi-weekly. Permanent employees are eligible for Individual Health Plan benefits. Full time employees also receive a weekly share of vegetables, and eggs on a bi-weekly basis.

Directions for Applying:

Please send an email to jobs@jbgorganic.com with the following format. Following specific directions is the first way to impress us!

Subject Line should read “[Job Title]: [First Initial]_[Last Name]” … For example, “Planting Crew Coordinator: J_Smith”

Email body should be short & sweet - help us notice you! Ensure that it contains your contact information.

Attach three documents to your email, ensuring that their file names are clear:

1) Cover Letter

2) Resume

3) List containing contact information of two professional references

Thank you for your interest in JBG Organic! You will be contacted for further information if we find that you might be a good fit for this position.

The responsibilities & duties listed above are intended to communicate general priorities of this position, but should not be understood as an exhaustive list of all work requirements to be completed at JBG Organic. Farms require flexibility! We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

JBG Organic provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, marital status, or sexual orientation.

 

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 18TH

04/19/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 18th CSA Box Contents Week of April 18th

Large Box
Artichoke
Broccoli
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red
Medium Box
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Parsnip
Radish, Red
Small Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Potato, Sweet
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Turnip, White Japanese

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APRIL 18TH

04/19/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of April 18th CSA Box Contents Week of April 18th

Medium Box
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Parsnip
Radish, Red

CHOCOLATE BEET CUPCAKES

04/20/16 — Farm

IMG_5395

by Megan Winfrey

Well, my sweet baby angel girl is a year old. Last week was a whirlwind to say the least - with birthday parties, travel, and too many bad food indulgences. It was also fantastic and I loved every minute of it. There was one indulgence that I couldn't feel guilty about, but it was none-the-less rich, chocolate-y, and sweet. I've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile now, and I hope ya'll enjoy it as much as I did.

IMG_5389

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

4 small or 2 large beets 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2/3 cup buttermilk 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1 large egg 1/4 cup canola oil 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided 2 tsp. vanilla extract 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

First, cook the beets by submerging them whole in a pot of water and boiling them until you can pierce a knife straight through - about 30 minutes. The bigger the beet, the longer it will take to soften. When done, let the beets cool, then peel off the skins by hand. They should fall right off, and if they don't, scrape the skins away gently with a spoon. Dice the beets, then add them to a blender with the butter cream. Blend until a smooth puree forms, reserve 2 tbs. in a small bowl, then transfer the rest to a large bowl.

IMG_5381

In a different bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg, oil, vanilla, and 1 cup of powdered sugar to the beet puree and whisk all together. Lightly stir in the dry ingredients, then spoon the batter into the lined cups. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

For the frosting, combine the rest of the powdered sugar, the cream cheese, and the reserved beet puree in a bowl, then blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Top each cupcake with a generous dollop and smooth out to the edges.

NOW HIRING: TOMATO CREW COORDINATOR

04/21/16 — Farm

June also means...tomatoes! Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Position Title: Tomato Crew Coordinator

Location: Austin                                    Department: Seasonal Tomato Crew                          

Reports To: Farm Manager; Operations Manager                      

Supervises: Tomato Crew Members, Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager

Position Summary:

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking a Tomato Crew Coordinator for the upcoming tomato harvest. This is a seasonal position, though workers demonstrating dedication and a strong work ethic may be considered for other opportunities within JBG after the season has ended. Tomatoes are an important crop at JBG and require careful attention. The Tomato Crew Coordinator serves as the leader for the Tomato Crew, coordinating with a diverse set of individuals to direct tomatoes from the point of harvest to the fulfillment of orders, achieving the highest quality of product. The Tomato Crew Coordinator is responsible for overseeing a crew of four who assist in implementation of duties, as well as supervising and working closely alongside the Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager to ensure that all tomato orders are properly fulfilled and tomato inventory is utilized to the greatest capacity possible. Both the Tomato Crew Coordinator and Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager work closely with other department heads (Wholesale, Restaurant, CSA, Farmers Markets, Farm Administrator, and Harvest Crew) to understand, communicate, and implement plans that match needs and availability. All in all, the Tomato Crew Coordinator is a dynamic position that is responsible for managing the sorting, packaging, and fulfillment of all tomato orders, with oversight on the Cooler Inventory.

Responsibilities:
  • Coordinate and facilitate tomato crew members in the completion of all sorting, packing, and fulfillment related tasks, including:
    • Tallying orders and communicating needs to Farm Administrator and Harvest Crew leaders
    • Prepping tomato line by way of sanitizing, pallet placing, bin washing, etc.
    • Receiving & unloading tomato trucks; communicating with Tomato Courier to ensure proper transition and maintenance of quality between two farm locations
    • Sorting tomatoes by type, size, color, and grade/quality
    • Packing and fulfilling orders with proper organization
  • Ensure an efficient work flow among Tomato Crew
  • Ensure a clean and sanitary work environment
  • Ensure highest quality of product and maximum efficiency of product use
  • Identifies any quality issues and quickly communicates them to the harvest manager and appropriate departments
  • Oversee Tomato Crew and work effectively alongside Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager to ensure smooth processing of all tasks
  • Assist Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager in the completion of their tasks by way of crew member allocation or hands-on assistance with organization, sorting, and packing in cooler
  • Reports any facility maintenance and repair issues to the Operations Manager in a timely fashion
  • Occasionally assist Garfield team with harvest of tomatoes, if need arises
  • Communicate effectively and respectfully with other department heads and team leaders to achieve tasks and goals listed above
 

Qualifications

Required
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work in a high-stress environment
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize among a wide array of responsibilities
  • An outgoing and friendly attitude! Ability to create a positive team dynamic is key, utilizing both interpersonal skills and maintaining excellent organization.
  • Flexible schedule and willingness to achieve the tasks required during the peak seasonal demands
  • Previous experience in a management or supervisory position
  • Computer competency
Preferred
  • Previous experience on a field crew or working with tomato production
  • Proficiency with Excel spreadsheets
  • Desire to contribute ideas and improve tomato systems with time
  • An interest in agriculture and promotion of local and organic farming
  • Ability to work cross-culturally; Spanish proficiency
 

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
 

Schedule: This is a seasonal position, with the start date beginning in May, and end date falling in July. The expected hours are Monday through Friday, 12:00 pm until end of shift. This position requires particular flexibility as there are likely fluctuations in hours due to peak demands.

Compensation & Benefits: $11/hour is paid bi-weekly, with an end of season bonus. The end of season bonus is calculated according to the total number of hours worked over the course of the season; $1 for every hour worked over the course of the season.

 

Directions for Applying:

Please send an email to jobs@jbgorganic.com with the following format. Following specific directions is the first way to impress us!
  • Subject Line should read “[Job Title]: [First Initial]_[Last Name]” … For example, “Planting Crew Coordinator: J_Smith”
  • Email body should be short & sweet - help us notice you! Ensure that it contains your contact information.
  • Attach three documents to your email, ensuring that their file names are clear: 1) Cover Letter 2) Resume 3) List containing contact information of two professional references
 

Thank you for your interest in JBG Organic! You will be contacted for further information if we find that you might be a good fit for this position.

 

The responsibilities & duties listed above are intended to communicate general priorities of this position, but should not be understood as an exhaustive list of all work requirements to be completed at JBG Organic. Farms require flexibility! We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

JBG Organic provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, marital status, or sexual orientation.

NOW HIRING: TOMATO COOLER INVENTORY MANAGER

04/21/16 — Farm

June also means...tomatoes! Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Position Title: Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager

Location: Austin                                   Department: Seasonal Tomato Crew                          

Reports To: Tomato Crew Coordinator                    

Supervises: Tomato Crew members (as determined by Tomato Crew Coordinator on daily or hourly basis)

Position Summary:

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking a Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager for the upcoming tomato harvest. This is a seasonal position, though workers demonstrating dedication and a strong work ethic may be considered for other opportunities within JBG after the season has ended. Tomatoes are an important crop at JBG and require careful attention. The Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager is a dynamic position that works closely with the Tomato Crew Coordinator to achieve their tasks, but with a focus on ensuring that all tomatoes harvested are properly stored, orders organized and fulfilled, and tomato inventory effectively utilized in sales while maintaining the highest quality of product. Both the Tomato Crew Coordinator and Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager work closely with other department heads (Wholesale, Restaurant, CSA, Farmers Markets, Farm Administrator, and Harvest Crew) to understand, communicate, and implement plans that match needs and availability.

 

Responsibilities:
  • Work with Tomato Crew Coordinator and Tomato Crew in the completion of all sorting, packing, and fulfillment related tasks, including:
    • Tallying orders alongside Tomato Crew Coordinator and communicating needs to Farm Administrator and Harvest Crew leaders
    • Comparing total daily needs with actual harvest numbers, subtracting any extra inventory on hand, and quickly communicating and resolving any shortages (or overages) with all departments, including possible swap items
    • Prepping cooler for organization based on work flow
    • Receiving & unloading tomato trucks; communicating with Tomato Courier to ensure proper transition and maintenance of quality between two farm locations
    • Sorting tomatoes by type, size, color, and grade/quality
    • Packing and fulfilling orders with proper organization
  • Ensure a clean and sanitary work environment
  • Identifies any quality issues and quickly communicates them to the harvest manager and appropriate departments
  • Ensure highest quality of product and maximum efficiency of product use
  • Ensure highest standard of organization in organization of cooler inventory, including ensuring that produce is being stored at the proper temperature and humidity
  • Ensure tomato orders are properly integrated into other vegetable orders for smooth processing & delivery
  • Oversee Tomato Crew as designated on an hourly or daily basis by Tomato Crew Coordinator
  • Reports any facility maintenance and repair issues to the Operations Manager in a timely fashion
  • Occasionally assist Garfield team with harvest of tomatoes, if need arises
  • Communicate effectively and respectfully with other department heads and team leaders to achieve tasks and goals listed above
 

Qualifications: Required
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work in a high-stress environment
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize among a wide array of responsibilities
  • An outgoing and friendly attitude! Ability to create a positive team dynamic is key, utilizing both interpersonal skills and maintaining excellent organization.
  • Flexible schedule and willingness to achieve the tasks required during the peak seasonal demands
  • Previous experience in a management or supervisory position
  • Computer competency
Preferred
  • Previous experience with tomato production or inventory management
  • Proficiency with Excel spreadsheets
  • Desire to contribute ideas and improve tomato systems with time
  • An interest in agriculture and promotion of local and organic farming
  • Ability to work cross-culturally; Spanish proficiency
 

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
 

Schedule: This is a seasonal position, with the start date beginning in May, and end date falling in July. The expected hours are Monday through Friday, 12:00 pm until end of shift. This position requires particular flexibility as there are likely fluctuations in hours due to peak demands. This position may require some two-hour Saturday shifts.

Compensation & Benefits: $11/hour is paid bi-weekly, with an end of season bonus. The end of season bonus is calculated according to the total number of hours worked over the course of the season; $1 for every hour worked over the course of the season.

 

Directions for Applying:

Please send an email to jobs@jbgorganic.com with the following format. Following specific directions is the first way to impress us!
  • Subject Line should read “[Job Title]: [First Initial]_[Last Name]” … For example, “Planting Crew Coordinator: J_Smith”
  • Email body should be short & sweet - help us notice you! Ensure that it contains your contact information.
  • Attach three documents to your email, ensuring that their file names are clear: 1) Cover Letter 2) Resume 3) List containing contact information of two professional references
Thank you for your interest in JBG Organic! You will be contacted for further information if we find that you might be a good fit for this position.

 

The responsibilities & duties listed above are intended to communicate general priorities of this position, but should not be understood as an exhaustive list of all work requirements to be completed at JBG Organic. Farms require flexibility! We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

JBG Organic provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, marital status, or sexual orientation.

 

GET INVOLVED - WORK OR VOLUNTEER AT JBG!

04/22/16 — Farm

Photo by Scott David Gordon JBG volunteers packing up some veggies to take home this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We've got lots of opportunities to get involved at the farm right now. We're hiring for two great positions AND looking for volunteers to help us paint one of the famous JBG trucks this coming MONDAY. Check it out!

Tomato Crew: Interested in trying your hand out working at the farm? Tomato crew might just be for you! This is a temporary, full-time position at our Hergotz location (right near the airport!). We're looking for hard workers who can commit May-July, love organic food, and work well in a team environment. We're also looking for leadership for the tomato crew!

CSA Packing Crew: This is a full-time, year round position working with our CSA team. We're looking for great folks to help us wash, sort, process and pack vegetables for our growing CSA program! Candidates should be dedicated, timely and ready to jump right in to a bustling local farm.

Volunteer! In addition to our Monday-Friday volunteer program, we've got a special opportunity coming up this Monday. If you've got experience painting and want to lend a hand (and get some free veggies!), we need your help painting the newest truck in our fleet! Email ada@jbgorganic.com for more details.

WEEK 16 IN PHOTOS

04/22/16 — Farm

All the rain gear came out at our Garfield Farm this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon All the rain gear came out at our Garfield Farm this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Rain, rain and more rain! This was a muddy week on the farm, but it sure did make the greens in the field look extra vibrant. The mud is stopping the farm crew from getting ahead on transplanting more of our summer crops, but we've been busy with a great harvest for markets this weekend! Lots of greens, herbs, artichokes and our spring cabbage crop are all coming in strong right now. Thanks to Scott David Gordon for capturing the greens, grays, and mud-tones that dominated week 16.

Kale in front, dandelions behind. Photo by Scott David Gordon Kale in front, dandelions behind. Photo by Scott David Gordon

The cilantro took off with all the moisture. Photo by Scott David Gordon Cilantro raised beds with rainwater-filled pathways. Yikes! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Collard greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon Collard greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Hope these artichokes don't mind the extra water! Hope these artichokes don't mind the extra water!

This week we got our tomatoes all caged and staked, and started trellising them too. Photo by Scott David Gordon This week we got our tomatoes all caged and staked, and started trellising them too. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We can't wait until these tomatoes are blooming! Photo by Scott David Gordon We can't wait until these tomatoes are blooming! Photo by Scott David Gordon

It was nice and dry in our squash high tunnel It was nice and dry in our squash high tunnel

Gray and green - the colors of week 16. Photo by Scott David Gordon Gray and green - the colors of week 16. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Sweet potatoes being washed at our Hergotz farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon Sweet potatoes being washed at our Hergotz farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Beautiful red radishes. Photo by Scott David Gordon Beautiful red radishes. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Harvest driver Kenny loads up his truck. Photo by Scott David Gordon Harvest driver Kenny loads up his truck. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Beets fresh on the washing tables. Photo by Scott David Gordon Beets fresh on the washing tables. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Washing parsnips - come get some at market this weekend! Photo by Scott David Gordon Washing parsnips - come get some at market this weekend! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Onions and beets. Photo by Scott David Gordon We're harvesting a beautiful crop of onions! White and red pictured here. Photo by Scott David Gordon

APRIL FARMER AND FOODIE EVENTS

04/22/16 — Farm

Photo from Farmshare Austin's upcoming Gardening for Beekeepers event. Photo from Farmshare Austin's upcoming Gardening for Beekeepers event.

April might be more than halfway through, but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of great events in the food community happening! Here's our roundup of farmer and foodie events for the rest of April. Celebrate Earth Month by filling your bellies with local foods!

April 23rd: Our Global Kitchen, Bob Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (exhibit runs through July 24th, but stop by Saturday to chat with Tatiana from JBG at our table!)

April 23rd: ArtFest at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market, 3200 Jones Rd, Sunset Valley, TX 78745

April 23: Austin EarthDay Festival, Mueller Lake Park, 4550 Mueller Blvd, Austin, Texas 78723

April 24: Afternoon in the Garden, Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, Texas 78746

April 30: Small Equipment Field Day, hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service & Sustainable Farm Supply -- Sand Creek Farm, 1552 CR 267, Cameron, TX 76520

April 30: Gardening for Beekeepers with TwoHives Honey, hosted by Farmshare Austin -- 3608 River Road Cedar Creek, Texas 78612

 

EARTH DAY FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

04/22/16 — Farm

160421_SDG278994 Photo by Scott David Gordon

Happy Earth Day to everyone in the JBG community! Today, April 22nd, we're celebrating this great planet that sustains us all. Whether you buy organic and local for your health, the health of your community, or the health of the planet, today we're commending you! Let's continue to inspire and challenge each other to do everything we can to make this a healthier place to live.

Earth Day is landing after an extremely rainy and muddy week out at the farm. It's been so muddy, getting anything done outside has been very difficult -- I've even been taking time this week to reply to a ton of unanswered of emails, which, as many of the JBG staff can attest to, I rarely find the time to do. I'll admit, the rain had me feeling nervous about flooding. It was not even a year ago that huge May rainfall after a historic drought came ripping through our farm, and that was not even the only 2015 flood we endured. This week we decided to prepare and rent a pump, in case our loading dock or a particularly low area of our fields filled with water. Luckily, neither was the case this week.





The farm was a mudpit after all the rain this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon The farm was a mudpit after all the rain this week. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Earth Day has got me thinking about the wild weather we've experienced since I started farming - historic droughts followed by the wettest year on record since 1919. What's next? How do we prepare for an era of huge weather swings and climate change, when our jobs are directly related to the weather and climate? Agriculture depends on a stable weather pattern - we plant what we plant, when we plant it, because we think we know what kind of temperature, precipitation, and weather to expect.

The lesson for us at the farm is not to count on any one assumption about weather. We can do this by diversifying the farm. A great book for anyone interested in gardening during an uncertain period of climatic events is The Resilient Gardener, by Carol Lappe. Something she mentions over and over, is that "monoculture works best in periods of climatic stability. In periods of more erratic weather, monoculture will be riskier." As a CSA farm, we diversify by growing over 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables, not only to ensure that you get to eat a diversity of nutritious foods, but also to ensure that we'll have lots of variety for your CSA shares, despite what weather might come.





Our onions did great in this wet spring! Photo by Scott David Gordon Our onions did great in this wet spring! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Last year, for example, the massive flooding took a toll on many of our summer crops. While we certainly still harvested tomatoes and peppers, we did not receive the abundance of a normal year due to some wild weather. Luckily, diversity provided us with a backup, and we filled CSA boxes with potatoes, purslane, onions, and storage crops we try to provide year round, like carrots and beets. Your plates were colorful and full, and we were able to make it through a tough year due to the fact that we were growing so many different crops.

So this week, as soon as these rains clear up, we're continuing to plant for summer. New Zealand and Malabar spinach , more basil and eggplants, lemongrass, and hopefully some sweet potato slips too. We're harvesting our spring crop of cabbage for markets this weekend, along with all of the greens, herbs, roots, and fruits you've been seeing over the past few weeks.





Thanks for supporting us in growing diversely and organically in Austin! Photo by Scott David Gordon Thanks for supporting us in growing diversely and organically in Austin! Photo by Scott David Gordon

So on this Earth Day, I vow as your farmer to continue to diversify. JBG will continue to plant new varieties of vegetables every year. JBG will continue to try new growing techniques and new methods to ensure our pollinators and beneficial insects can thrive. We promise to grow organically, without using harmful chemicals that can damage the larger ecosystems which help to regulate our local and global weather patterns. We promise our farm will do what we can to keep our land productive and our waterways and communities clean.

What are you doing this Earth Day? Check out our second blog post this week for farm and food related events happening around Austin - we hope to see you around!

NOW HIRING: TOMATO CREW MEMBERS

04/22/16 — Farm

June also means...tomatoes! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon

We're hiring for our 2016 Tomato Season! Tomato Season is a fast-paced period of time that requires dependable and hardworking individuals with lightning-fast hands, significant attention to detail, and otherworldly efficiency. See the description below to become a Tomato Crew Member. If you'd like to jump right into a leadership position, see our other posts for the tomato-specific Coordinator and Cooler Inventory positions.

Position Title: Tomato Crew Member

Location:  Austin                                        Department:  Seasonal Tomato Crew Reports To:  Tomato Crew Coordinator                   Supervises: n/a

Position Summary:

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG Oganic) is seeking a dependable and hardworking individual to join our Tomato Crew for the 2016 season. The Tomato Crew is  responsible for washing, processing, and packing tomatoes harvested on the farm while ensuring produce quality and compliance with health regulations. As guided by the Tomato Crew Coordinator, the Tomato Crews members assist the Tomato Crew Coordinator and Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager in the completion of all necessary tasks related to the processing of the tomato harvest. They work closely with other departments and teams to ensure that operations are smooth and orders are completed correctly and in a timely manner. All farm employees are expected to be courteous, demonstrate a strong work ethic and attention to detail. We take pride on the farm in producing the highest quality vegetables through quality work.

Responsibilities
  • Work alongside other team members in the completion of all tomato processing tasks, including:
    • Prepping tomato line by way of sanitizing, pallet placing, bin washing, etc.
    • Receiving & unloading tomato trucks
    • Sorting tomatoes by type, size, color, and grade/quality
    • Packing and fulfilling orders with proper organization
  • Ensure an efficient work flow among Tomato Crew
  • Ensure a clean and sanitary work environment
  • Ensure highest quality of product and maximum efficiency of product use
  • Communicate any quality issues or facility/repair issues to Tomato Crew Coordinator in a timely manner
  • Occasionally assist other crews or Garfield team in completion of tasks to ensure smooth operations
Qualifications Required

 
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work in a high-stress environment
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize among a wide array of responsibilities
  • An outgoing and friendly attitude! Ability to create a positive team dynamic is key, utilizing both interpersonal skills and maintaining excellent organization.
  • Flexible schedule and willingness to achieve the tasks required during the peak seasonal demands
Preferred
  • Previous experience on a field crew or working with tomato production
  • An interest in agriculture and promotion of local and organic farming
Physical Requirements
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50 lbs
  • Ability to repeatedly kneel, bend, and squat
  • Ability to withstand exposure to varying weather conditions
  • Ability to withstand prolonged standing or walking
Schedule: This is a seasonal position, with the start date beginning in May, and end date falling in July. The expected hours are Monday through Friday, 12:00 pm until end of shift. This position requires particular flexibility as there are likely fluctuations in hours due to peak demands.

Compensation & Benefits: $9/hour is paid bi-weekly, with an end of season bonus. The end of season bonus is calculated according to the total number of hours worked over the course of the season; $1 for every hour worked over the course of the season.

Directions for Applying:

Please send an email to jobs@jbgorganic.com with the following format. Following specific directions is the first way to impress us!
  • Subject Line should read “[Job Title]: [First Initial]_[Last Name]” … For example, “Planting Crew Coordinator: J_Smith”
  • Email body should be short & sweet - help us notice you! Ensure that it contains your contact information.
  • Attach three documents to your email, ensuring that their file names are clear: 1) Cover Letter 2) Resume 3) List containing contact information of two professional references
Thank you for your interest in JBG Organic! You will be contacted for further information if we find that you might be a good fit for this position.

The responsibilities & duties listed above are intended to communicate general priorities of this position, but should not be understood as an exhaustive list of all work requirements to be completed at JBG Organic. Farms require flexibility! We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

JBG Organic provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, marital status, or sexual orientation.

NOW HIRING: WHOLESALE PACKING CREW!

04/26/16 — Farm

Photo by Scott David Grodon Photo by Scott David Grodon

Position Title: Wholesale Packing Crew Location: Hergotz Lane Department: Wholesale Reports To: Wholesale  Sales Manager Supervises: n/a

Position Summary:

JBG is currently seeking a dependable and hardworking individual to join our Wholesale Packing Crew. This crew is responsible for washing, processing, and packing vegetables harvested on the farm, with their primary focus being Wholesale orders. Efficiency is key is this position, though the team  is also responsible for ensuring the highest level of produce quality, order accuracy, and compliance with health regulations. They will work closely with the Wholesale Sales Manager and other department teams to guarantee that operations and orders are completed correctly and in a timely manner. This includes working as a team with other departments when the demands arise.  All farm employees are expected to be courteous, demonstrate a strong work ethic and attention to detail. We take pride on the farm in producing the highest quality vegetables through quality work.

Responsibilities
  • Receive, process, and package vegetables harvested on the farm
  • Maintain a clean and sanitary working environment
  • Ensure quality of all produce
  • Prepare and package wholesale orders
  • Communicate with other teams regarding workload and quality to ensure highest quality and improve systems over time
Qualifications Required
  • No previous experience required, only a desire to learn farm work
  • Keen sense of detail and ability to apply this to packing standards
  • A mantra that “Teamwork doesn’t seem work!”
  • Flexibility - hours and responsibilities may change due to seasonal demands or other farm happenings, and willingness to work late hours is essential
Preferred
  • Previous experience in a warehouse setting, or with produce standards.
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
 

Schedule:

AM Crew: Monday through Thursday, starting at 8am-6:30pm or end of shift. Generally speaking, it is a minimum of 10 hours per day.

PM Crew: Monday-Wednesday 2:30pm-1am and Thursday-Friday 2:30pm-11pm.  End of shift time varies; flexibility required.

Part-time PM Crew: Monday-Wednesday 2:30pm-1am. End of shift time varies; flexibility required.

Compensation & Benefits: Payment is $10 / hour, paid bi-weekly.  Permanent employees are eligible for Individual Health Plan benefits. All JBG employees receive a weekly share of vegetables.

Directions for Applying:

Please send an email to jobs@jbgorganic.com with the following format. Following specific directions is the first way to impress us!
  • Subject Line should read “[Job Title]: [First Initial]_[Last Name]” … For example, “Planting Crew Coordinator: J_Smith”
  • Email body should be short & sweet - help us notice you! Ensure that it contains your contact information.
  • Attach three documents to your email, ensuring that their file names are clear: 1) Cover Letter 2) Resume 3) List containing contact information of two professional references
Thank you for your interest in JBG Organic! You will be contacted for further information if we find that you might be a good fit for this position.

The responsibilities & duties listed above are intended to communicate general priorities of this position, but should not be understood as an exhaustive list of all work requirements to be completed at JBG Organic. Farms require flexibility! We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance. JBG Organic provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, marital status, or sexual orientation.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 25TH

04/26/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 25th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 25th

Large Box
Artichoke
Broccoli
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Arugula
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red
Medium Box
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Kohlrabi, Purple
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Parsnip
Radish, Red
Small Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Potato, Sweet
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Onion, Red
Parsnip
Turnip, White Japanese

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 25TH

04/26/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 25th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 25th

Medium Box
Artichoke
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Basil
Herb, Fennel
Onion, Spring Yellow
Parsnip
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red

WEEK 17 IN PHOTOS

04/29/16 — Farm

Freshly bunched beets are in full swing at our farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon Freshly bunched beets are in full swing at our farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Thanks to Scott David Gordon for coming out to the farm these week to capture these photos! With highs near 90 degrees and a little bit of rain, Week 17 brought us our first push of early summer crops along with an abundance of the veggies we've been harvesting all spring. Enjoy these images from the week!

 

Look at all those beets! Look at all those beets!

Up close harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon Up close harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Part of our field crew gets ready to transplant a second round of peppers. Photo by Scott David Gordon Part of our field crew gets ready to transplant a second round of peppers. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Filling trailers with tomato cages. Photo by Scott David Gordon Filling trailers with tomato cages. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We staked loads of tomatoes this week! Photo by Scott David Gordon We staked loads of tomatoes this week! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Tomato flowers. Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomato flowers. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Coming soon! Photo by Scott David Gordon Coming soon! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Rows of freshly staked tomatoes. Photo by Scott David Gordon Rows of freshly staked tomatoes. Photo by Scott David Gordon

One of our newly-built harvest trailers - read last week's blog for more on these great tools! Photo by Scott David Gordon One of our newly-built harvest trailers - read last week's blog for more on these great tools! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our grapes are really taking off! Photo by Scott David Gordon Our grapes are really taking off! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Kale harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon Kale harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A little squash coming along. Photo by Scott David Gordon A little squash coming along. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Winter squash starting to set fruit Winter squash starting to set fruit

The next succession of green beans is up and growing strong. Photo by Scott David Gordon The next succession of green beans is up and growing strong. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Sweet potatoes growing nicely. Photo by Scott David Gordon Sweet potatoes growing nicely. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Radishes - a springtime favorite. Photo by Scott David Gordon Radishes - a springtime favorite. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We're just starting to harvest new potatoes this week We're just starting to harvest new potatoes this week

Potato field. Photo by Scott David Gordon Potato field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

SEASONS COLLIDE + RECIPE ROUND UP

04/29/16 — Farm

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Over the past couple of weeks, we've caught two swarms of honeybees out at the farm. These bees have been seriously busy all spring - collecting pollen and nectar, building out comb, growing their colonies, and dividing the new, larger colonies by swarming - we're starting to feel just as busy! JBG has felt like a frenzy of activity this week as well. Our farm is full of the spring crops you've been seeing, AND now the summer crops are starting to come in too. This means lots and lots of hard work, but also lots and lots of great food coming your way.

The next month or so is going to be even busier than normal as we juggle two seasons at the same time. So this week, we wanted to give you a forecast. What's here to stay, what will be gone soon, and what you can expect to see in your CSA shares and at farmer's markets in the coming weeks. Texas has a unique seasonality in comparison with the rest of the country, and this is one of our favorite times of year to eat local!

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The overlapping seasons of spring and summer are some of the biggest bounties of the year, and the best way to enjoy the food and take advantage of the bounty is by joining out CSA. Sign up for a membership today and see what we're talking about! We promise you won't regret it.

Want to join the hive? We're currently hiring for a Daytime Wholesale Crew, Tomato Crew and crew leaders, CSA Packing Crew. Must love loud music, organic veggies, hard work, and ice pops during those hot summer months. Check out our jobs page for more details.

Harvesting Now:

We're harvesting loads and loads of Onions right now - yellows, reds and whites. Enjoy onions with the greens still on, cut and put right on the grill for a spring treat. Larger onions will be around into the summer season.

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Zucchini and Yellow Squash are really hitting their stride this week as our first field planting starts setting fruit. Anyone who has grown summer squash in a home garden knows that once these plants start fruiting, it's time to bust out the zucchini breads, fritters, and any other recipes you can think up to use up the bounty.

New Potatoes are eaten soon after being pulled from the ground, before their skin has "cured," or thickened up to withstand storage. Their thin, smooth skin is tender and delicious, and perfect for an early summer potato salad.

Nothing says summer like the smell of fresh Basil. We've begun harvesting our first round of basil this week!

New potatoes. New potatoes.

Get em While You Can:

As the weather heats up, and quickly, our winter and spring greens and herbs will slowly halt their growth and will bolt - farmer speak for going to seed. Make sure you get your fill on these before they are gone!

Spring greens won't be around for too much longer! Spring greens won't be around for too much longer!

Greens: Kale, Collards, Chard, Lettuce will be around this month, but will phase out with the heat. Once cucumbers start coming in (soon!), enjoy a brief window of time when homemade, local green juices are the best way to beat the heat. Until then, there are plenty of great ways to enjoy your dark, leafy greens.



Herbs: Dill, Mint, Parsley, and Cilantro grow great in springtime, but don't like hot temperatures. We hope to have these crops through the month of May, but they won't be around for much longer. Check out these recipes: Mint growing at the farm. Mint growing at the farm.

Brassicas: We're harvesting lots and lots of Cabbage (red, green and savoy!), Broccoli, and Cauliflower of all colors this week! Our spring brassica crop has a window of just about a month or two, so enjoy these favorites right now.



Coming Soon:

We are just weeks away from an influx of early summer crops. Now is a great time to join our CSA - take advantage of the bounty of both spring and summer in the coming weeks! We're highlighting a few recipes to enjoy the fringe season when spring and summer crops both fill your CSA shares.

Cucumbers, Peppers, Okra and Eggplant have started flowering and will be here before you know it. A great mix of rain and sunshine over the past few weeks is making for a very promising season ahead.

Coming soon! Coming soon!

Tomatoes have started to set and we are seeing the first green fruits on our plants this week. The first few weeks of tomato season are some of our absolute favorite CSA boxes - an extremely brief, 1-2 week window where you can make entirely local pico de gallo before the Cilantro season is over.

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