Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shipe Park Pleasantries

My front porch, covered in pots and buckets of various sizes, appears as a miniature Eden. My new red plastic adirondacks offer a quiet repose luring me away from homework and paper writing. Eleanor is now allowed out of doors and into the jungle that is our little parking lot. She gets lost in the beggar's lice weeds and the tall wild treats will soon fail to bring her back.

But there across the street in quaint Shipe park is a little bubbling creek, well not quite bubbling, perhaps more like lowing, but a flow of water none the less. Along this creek bed grow dozens of spindly trees with leaves similar those found on grape vines. Beneath these palm size greens hide bundles of tiny berries...yet no one seems to know that they are edible. So they remain.

Until I found them. 4 or 5 pints later, my freezer and fridge are packed with fresh mulberries, ripened in the Texas sun. The ground is so slick with fallen mulberries my feet and sandals stain purple as if I were stomping grapes into wine. Cautiously tiptoeing to reach the higher branches, the sides of the creek slope ever so slightly downward and the berry sludge make things slippery.

At least a dozen more pints remain on the trees, almost ripe, too high to reach, or still barely green. I've weeks left to sneak back cupfuls of these native treasures...

Anyone for mulberry muffins, pancakes, syrup, bread, oatmeal, macarons?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Slow Money Austin April Event

This is an amazing event that every foodie, farmer, and even friends of those previously mentioned groups should attend. My lovely housemate works at Barr Mansion and is proud to be part of one the only organic venues in the nation. Please help out your plate, your community, and the environment by attending or donating to this event. Read below for a full schedule of events and information for registration.

Former Odwalla & Sweet Leaf Tea CEOs Join Visionary Investors & Fellow Food Entrepreneurs to Talk Slow Money, April 21 & April 22

Slow Money Austin Sets Table with City Hall Showcase and Barr Mansion Dinner featuring Dai Due Supper Club

Local and Organic Foods also on Menu at Malverde Happy Hour, Upstairs from La Condesa

Austin, TX- April 12, 2010- This April, companion events redefine the value of a healthy Central Texas food system, and reassess the role risk capital plays in fueling its growth. Joining the conversation are leading investors, entrepreneurs and regional sustainable food advocates, including:

-Woody Tasch, Chairman Emeritus of Investors' Circle, author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money and Founder of the national Slow Money Alliance

- Greg Steltenpohl, Founder and former CEO of Odwalla, and Co-Founder of Adina for Life

-Clayton Christoperh, Founder and former CEO of Sweet Leaf Tea

-Sarita Role Schaffer, Director,

-Craig Wichner, Managing Director, Farmland LP

-Jenny Brown, Administrator, Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program

-Ronda Rutledge, Executive Director, Sustainable Food Center

-Scott Collier, Managing Director, Triton Ventures

-Mason Arnold, President,

-Margo Weisz, Executive Director, People Fund

-Marla Camp, Publisher, Edible Austin

The April 21 Slow Money Austin Showcase, held in partnership with the Sustainable Food Center and the City of Austin, provides an afternoon-long program laying out the players, the issues and the opportunities involved in a healthy food system. With the event, Slow Money Austin brings together consumers, food businesses, civic leaders and investors to learn about the regional food chain, and explore funding alternatives essential to the continued growth of the regional food economy. Specific program highlights include:

-The current status and future of a sustainable Central Texas food system
-"Farm to Table to Farm" Showcase of regional food enterprises
- Delivering Slow Money to Austin

Attendees of the April 21 City Hall event will receive a gift bag featuring local fare from Better Bites of Austin's food purveyors, and are invited to attend the Slow Money Austin Happy Hour immediately following. Co-hosted by La Condesa, this networking event, held directly upstairs as Malverde, will showcase local ingredients as fashioned by Texas born, nationally esteemed Executive Chef Rene Ortiz.

The following day, April 22, Slow Money Austin and nationally recognized Barr Mansion host a special Earth Day dinner prepared by the Dai Due Supper Club.

The dinner program combines a delectable exploration of the diverse, sustainably grown riches Central Texas has to offer with a continued dialog about funding growth in our region. In addition to a keynote presentation by Odwalla and Adina for Life founder Greg Steltenpohl, program highlights include:

-a special meet and greet dinner with local food and beverage artisans
-a first-hand perspective on the challenges and opportunities in running all-organic operations
-brief presentations by emerging local food enterprises seeking investor capital

At both events, made possible by underwriting sponsors Whole Foods Market and Barr Mansion, local food entrepreneurs embracing organic methods and focused on sustainability will discuss challenges and capital needs, suggesting myriad opportunities for investment and expansion. Presenters include food and beverage producers, distributors, restaurants, service providers and support businesses.

In addition to underwriters Whole Foods Markets and Barr Mansion, Slow Money Austin thanks sponsors:
Austin Ventures, Greenling, La Condesa, White Mountain Foods, Casa Brasil, Coyote Creek Farm, Dai Due Supper Club, Eastside Cafe, Daily Juice, Kiimy, Skematik, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs' RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service.

Complete event information is online at the Slow Money Austin website.