Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Week Fourteen - Hooray for the Red, White and.....

Purple? We have entered week 14 in our journey through a season of eating out of CSA baskets here in Central Texas.
Our haul this week includes an introduction to the very delicious Galia melon, more okra, several more eggplants, additional peppers, and several Cetriole melone. These have been dubbed "cucamelons" and are delightfully new to us. Cucamelons are Italian originally, but handle hot Texas summers very well (a lot like my Dad did), and are exemplary of the ways this process of eating seasonally and locally has wonderfully stretched our understanding of what is to be expected from a field in Texas in June or July.We received a few more standardized cucumbers, a handful of Chinese "yard long" beans, a delicious and beautiful red onion, and some garlic chives.

While not yet decided on what special foods we will share as part of our holiday eating, the one thing we are decided upon is that every 4th of July my husband and I set flags out as part of our observance and celebration.

Independence Day means a lot of different things to different people. For my family, the flags go out to honor the three of our four parents who actively served in the military during WWII. They fought for a lot we often take nearly completely for granted, and while hanging those flags out, I try to keep in mind that many of the freedoms I all too often enjoy without much thought, were won at a very high cost.For at least one family in Travis County, this year's 4th of July celebration might feel slightly muted. The owners of Tecolote Farms are trying to keep their family business afloat despite the water depletion resulting from competition for the aquifer having dried up their well. The county, having put in large wells to supply a public park being created nearby, firmly asserts that their pumping from the aquifer is related only in time and space, not causal to the problems this family farm has experienced. The County even commissioned and paid for a study to prove so.

Too bad the County didn't give the study money to the farm to help buy them water so they could keep irrigating their crops. I would feel better about my tax dollars being used to raise healthy food than to pay for studies that not so surprisingly weighed in on the side of the folks writing the check to pay for it.At least the Tecolote folks are still managing to produce an amazing abundance of gorgeous and delicious, healthy foods for those of us fortunate enough to claim ourselves "basketeers".

Happy 4th of July to everybody - but especially to all the intrepid folk out there who believe in and are working hard to produce healthy, organically grown fruits and vegetables to feed their families and their customers. While we sing of amber waves and fruited plains, may we never forget that small family farms have always been at the heart of the American Dream.

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