My boss asked me the other day to send him a list of local farmers market. Even the Republicans are going local! OK, granted, this is Austin, notorious for its liberal leanings, so maybe the Hippies have gotten to him. But hopefully it is because even more mainstream consumers are seeing that the local movement makes sense.
John said he was looking for a good source for grass fed beef. He said he preferred the taste and was willing to spend a little bit more and eat less meat if it meant he could get better quality. With his family of four, he said he might not be able to afford to eat that way all the time but he was willing to dedicate part of his food budget to local meat and veggies if he could find them without a huge hassle.
Austin has a ton of options to shop local. The premier foodie shopping happens at the Austin Farmers Market which has recently moved to 4th and Guadalupe at Republic Square Park on Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM and at the Triangle at 46th and Lamar from 3PM to 7PM. Here is a link to the rest of the markets in the area. http://www.austinfarmersmarket.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=65&lang=en
Another options is to buy a share in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). One of the farms in Austin that offers this is Rain Lily Farms through Farmhouse Delivery http://www.farmhousedelivery.com/order.html. For $35 per week or $37 for a biweekly delivery plus a one time $20 set up fee you get a bushel of farm fresh produce either delivered or you can pick it up. The bushel contains 7-10 items that are the best of the harvest that week. You do not get to pick the items in the bushel but through Farmhouse you can choose additional products to add to your order like Loncito’s grass fed lamb or Richardson’s Farms ribeye steaks.
Even a biweekly delivery is a little more produce than I can use as a single householder, so I opt for Greenling Organic Delivery service http://www.greenling.com/. No weekly commitment and you can order whatever you need for the week. Delivered to your door! You can not get any easier than that.
So come on, Austin. There is no excuse not to at least explore your local options. If for no other reason than taste, you cannot beat seasonally harvested fresh produce. As a baker, I can tell you that the difference between farm fresh eggs and the ones you buy at the grocery store are miles apart in quality. And as for grassfed meat, try a perfectly seared sirloin from Betsy Ross’ and tell me if you wouldn’t give up a trip to Starbucks once a week to have that on a regular basis. Local does not have to be painful.