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Austin Urban Farm Bicycle Tour

7 December 2008 2,473 views 5 Comments

bikesboggyMy tush hurts today after spending most of Saturday biking around the city during the Austin Urban Farm Bicycle Tour. The tour kicked off Eat Local Week, a series of events sponsored by Edible Austin, a gorgeous free monthly publication.

Christine and I started the day off shivering as the temperature had dipped below freezing during the night. We bundled up as much as we could and set off to enjoy breakfast tacos and coffee at Whole Foods.
We then met up for the 14 mile bike ride starting at Bicycle Sport Shop. There were two other options for riders — a longer version setting off from Sunset Valley Farmers Market and a 10 mile ride from the Downtown Farmers Market.
beetsEat Local Week is a fundraiser for Urban Roots, a youth development program that uses sustainable agriculture as a means to transform the lives of young people and to increase the access of healthy food in Austin. The group hires 15 farm interns, ages 14-17, to work from February to July, growing 15,000-20,000 lbs of produce every year—donating 40% of that to hunger relief and selling 60% at farmers’ markets and farm stands run by the interns.

What I loved about the Urban Roots bicycle tour was that it was organized by a group and I could do it with friends. I would love to regularly bike to the farms to buy local produce and I’ll now feel more comfortable doing it on my own. The organizers wanted to introduce more people to our urban farms (mostly on the East side) and encourage Austinites to make healthy food and transportation choices.

orangesWe spent most of the day biking around with David, Meredith, Mia, and Katie. David, aka The Soup Peddler, lives the slow food lifestyle and the weekly menu for his delivery business focuses on healthy ingredients, veggie-friendly options, and most importantly LOVE. His darling daughter Mia is pictured on one of his delivery vehicles peeking out from a soup pot.
We visited Boggy Creek Farm, Rain Lily Farm, Zhi Tea Gallery, and Hands of the Earth Farm. East Austin is really quaint but it tends to be an area where many of the less fortunate Austinites live and is known more for convenience stores, tex-mex joints, and comfort food than fresh organic produce.
As we passed fast food joints featuring cheap, unhealthy, quick options on the way to the farms, it was clear that the next generation needs programs like Urban Roots and school gardening programs to ensure the safety and health of our children.

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  • christine

    For any of you who haven’t visited Jodi I highly recommend it. I feel like I’ve seen all of Austin. She’s a STAR!

  • Brandon

    what about the iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing combo that’s offered at those fast food joints as a healthy option? When I was in Boston I noticed that there were areas where plots were rented out to those who did not have land to cultivate. People who rented the plots would use them for gardening veggies and whatnot. I think Austin should adopt the same idea. Then take a portion of the rent and put it towards educating the urban community.

  • Jami

    You just described a DREAM day. Can I come back and visit you? We can ride bikes and visit farms and cook a yummy meal and take a nap.

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