Photo by Alberto Martínez for the Austin American-Statesman.
Addie Broyles, Austin Relish, tips her hat to the new pioneers of sustainable agriculture where farmers are helping new farmers find their way:
It’s an unimaginable risk to start up a farm in Central Texas right now. We are a year into one of the worst droughts in our history, land prices (especially within an hour’s drive of Austin, where the majority of customers are) are sky high, wells are drying up, and on top of it all, the economy is in the tank, so consumers are seriously pinching their pennies.
But these hopeful farmers, like John Chandler at Tierra Madre Farms, who sells cut flowers and eggs at the SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valley, are taking on the task because they feel it’s the right thing to do, and if they don’t do it, who will?
Getting to know the people who grow, produce, craft and sell fresh, natural, organic, sustainable food at Central Texas farmer's markets was one of the sparks of Austin Fresh. It strikes me as a challenging way to make a living. Now, since I've interviewed a few of them, I've learned that it's also immensely satisfying. Still, starting a sustainable farm operation in today's financial and drought-plagued climate elevates the risk to a whole nother level.
Hat's off to ya!